Australia has announced an $85 million financial package to bolster Fiji’s economic recovery. This is an investment in Fiji’s future and reflects Australia and Fiji’s shared commitment to economic resilience, health security and stability in our region.
This support, building upon last year’s commitment of $83.5 million (FJ$127 million), will assist the Fijian Government’s financing of essential services and support economic growth, with a focus on fiscal management, private sector recovery, gender equality and social inclusion.
“As a result of severe travel restrictions, the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic ramifications have been steep across the Pacific. We appreciate Australia’s confidence in Fiji’s financial management through this direct budgetary support that will help alleviate the socioeconomic burden on Fijian society,” said Fiji’s Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
“With more than 90 percent adults in Fiji now fully vaccinated –– owed in significant part to Australian-donated vaccines –– we look forward to a normalisation of trade and tourism that reconnects our region and allows our recovery to begin in earnest.”
Business-led growth in our region is the key to a strong recovery from COVID-19.
Pacific governments face significant challenges as they start the post-pandemic road to recovery. This package reflects Australia’s ongoing commitment to support the Pacific’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, including through the Pacific COVID-19 Response Package – a total commitment of more than $304.7 million to the region over two years.
Fiji’s economy has been one of the hardest hit globally, particularly with the suspension of international tourism to Fiji. Before the pandemic, tourism represented 38.9 per cent of GDP and 35.5 per cent of total employment.
Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said the package would be a significant boost for Fiji after a difficult year.
“No country – big or small – has been immune to the COVID-19 pandemic. Australia is pleased to be supporting our close friend and neighbour, Fiji, as the country continues its economic recovery,” Minister Payne said.
Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator the Hon Zed Seselja, said that the Fijian Government’s effective COVID-19 health response and successful national vaccine rollout has allowed Fiji to emerge from the worst of the pandemic.
“By helping each other get through the pandemic, we’ll all be better off. I’m thrilled to see Australian tourists getting back to Fiji, and Fijian businesses getting back on their feet,” Minister Seselja said.
The impact of the pandemic on Fiji and the wider region has been significant, but the future is bright. Australia and Fiji will always stand together as vuvale (family).