12 Oct 2006

ADB presents strategy document to Fiji PM

2:33 pm on 12 October 2006

The Asian Development Bank is presenting a draft five-year strategy for Fiji to the Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, this afternoon.

The ADB's regional director, Sirpa Jarvenpaa, says they have consulted widely with government officials, the private sector and others in order to formulate the document.

She says there are three key areas, including poverty reduction which will look at the development of alternative cash crops such as pawpaw, vanilla while the use of coconut for handicraft production will be investigated and in urban areas, there will be a focus on increasing wages for women in low paid industries.

Ms Jarvenpaa says the other areas to be targetted include macro-economic management and the development of the private sector.

"One would target improvement in macro-economic management and fiscal conditions, the second branch would target directly poverty reduction through alternative livelihood programmes, and rural and outer island development, and the third branch would develop private sector opportunities, including through infrastructure investments and private/public partnerships."

Ms Jarvenpaa says they hope the strategy is approved this week and work on it can begin next year.