RBF recognises potential in mineral water, garments among other sectors
The central bank has recognised there is big potential for increased production, value addition and exports in sectors such as mineral water, garments, timber, mining, manufacturing and SMEs. The Reserve Bank of Fiji Governor, Barry Whiteside, stressed at the Pacific Update Conference at the University of South Pacific yesterday. Mr Whiteside noted using the example of Fiji Water exports which was currently the number one premium brand of water sold in the US. “Exports have risen over 60 per cent over the past five years to around $200 million and are set to grow further with the recent addition of a third production line,” he said. “In addition, the company has also started a large fruit farm for mangoes and pawpaws in its own diversification efforts.”
In addition, Mr Whiteside noted the garment industry has already delved into niche products such as designer and sportswear.
“It is quickly realising the benefits from these high-end products, raking in over $100 million annually,” he said.
“Value-added processing of our local timber especially mahogany and other indigenous hardwood remains untapped, constrained mainly by supply-related issues.
“Our mining sector also offers better benefits to the country with substantial foreign investments geared to the extraction of new gold ore and iron sands resources expected to come on stream in medium term.”