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Fiji to keep growing economy in 2018: PM
From:Xinhua  |  2017-12-31 19:29

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SUVA, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- Fiji's Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama pledged on Sunday to continue to grow the South Pacific Island state's economy in 2018 and bring greater opportunity for Fijians.

"We had to keep growing the Fijian economy, bringing greater opportunity into the lives of our people and caring for those Fijians who are most vulnerable in our society," the prime minister said in a New Year Message.

As a small island state, which has a population of around 900,000, Fiji's economy has soared to its eighth straight year of economic growth and the prime minister attributed the continued growth to the factors such as consistent economic policies, fiscal management, investment in infrastructure and the effort and energy of ordinary Fijians.

There are nothing but positive projections for the country's growth in the years ahead, he said, adding that they must stick with that game plan in 2018 and beyond.

"My government will continue to find innovative ways to ensure that every Fijian shares in our development and our economic growth -- Fijians from all walks of life, all levels of society and every corner of the country," the prime minister said.

"We will continue to make merit-based achievement the foundation of our development. And we will continue the programs and initiatives that are the cornerstone of my government's agenda: free education; new and resilient infrastructure; access to clean water, electricity, telecommunications and government services; support to our entrepreneurs; and special efforts to bring those on the margins into the economic fold, including our women, young people, the disabled and those in the remote maritime and rural areas," he said.

In addition, the prime minister also urged Fijians to vote in the country's second general elections that will be held in 2018.

He called on Fijians to work together to keep Fiji moving forward as one nation and one people, united in their common purpose and their belief in what Fiji can achieve.

Fiji is one of the most developed of the Pacific island economies though it remains a developing country with a large subsistence agriculture sector which accounts for 18 percent of gross domestic product.

Fiji's economy is expected to register a 4.2-percent growth in 2017 and a 3.6-percent growth in 2018.