Tourism may replace sugar as economic backbone
Thursday, March 24, 2011
The Tourism Industry could surpass the Sugar Industry to become the backbone of Fiji’s economy says the permanent secretary for Tourism, Elizabeth Powell.
The two industries have been major players in Fiji’s economy over the past decades but the sugar industry has been severely disrupted with mill upgrade failures and low production.
Tourism provides employment directly and indirectly to approximately 63,000 people or 25% of total employment - and in 10 years its contribution to Fiji’s GDP is expected to approach 40%.
Powell says this trend expected to continue.
“Tourism is definitely going to be a major component of Fiji’s economy and a major employer for our people well into the future. Whether or not it surpasses the contribution of sugar and when that may happen, it is possible although we need to be sure that we maintain as much diversity in our economy as we can.”
Questions have been raised on the livelihood of the over 200,000 people who depend on the sugar industry - with government allocating $123m this year for its revival.
Prime Minister and Minister for Sugar Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama says a significant number of people rely on sugar for their livelihood and government will do all it can to ensure the industry survives.
Report by: Roland Koroi
Fiji sugar is here to stay: Vaniqi
Friday, March 25, 2011
The Sugar industry has been around for more then 100 years and is here to stay says Sugar Ministry Permanent Secretary – Manasa Vaniqi.
Vaniqi was responding to suggestions that the industry may be replaced as the backbone of Fiji’s economy.
“But we need to go back to the history – sugar has been the backbone of the economy and for your information there is not a single industry even now that rakes in millions like sugar. When we talk about tourism with all due respect – but the dollar retention value practically - quite a lot are still going overseas. But for sugar it’s all dollar returns. We are putting in place the necessary mechanisms and on top of that the Prime Minister has said that sugar is here to stay so we will see that it is here to stay.”
Government has set aside $123m for the revival of the sugar industry in this year’s budget.
Report by: Ritika Pratap