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From economic boom under Chaudhry to decline

From economic boom under Chaudhry government to major economic decline now - Bank

Issue No: 261 5 December 2000

The political instability in Fiji has been a major cause of decline in the Fiji economy, says the Bank of Hawaii.

The Bank's President, Richard Dahl yesterday told the media that foreign investors are too scared of investing in Fiji because of the political instability in the country. According to today's Fiji Sun, Dahl stated: "Fiji was headed for an economic boom experienced in the early seventies early this year." The People's Coalition government was in power from May last year to May this year until it was taken hostage by terrorists in the world's first ever case of a government being taken hostage by terrorists.

Dahl also stated: "Bank of Hawaii invested about $US50m into the country and the return was good before May 19. At that time, we had plans of extending our services. But after the May 19 event, everything has dropped and returns have been every disappointing."

Dahl further stated that if stability is not achieved in Fiji other South Pacific countries would benefit from Fiji's misfortunes. He stated: "To lure long-term investors, the predictability rate in the country has to be higher. Another aspect is the need for transparency in the market. That openness would be in the form of democracy."

Dahl's comments follow concerns expressed my numerous other major investors and diplomatic heads that Fiji will not be able to regain its economic momentum unless political stability was restored. The Qarase regime has closed its ears to such advice and is adamant in having a racist constitution imposed on the country.

END 5 December 2000


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