Fiji Sun : 2020-07-15

NATION : 18 : 18

NATION

Analysis 18 FIJI SUN, WEDNESDAY, JULY 15, 2020 WWW.FIJISUN.COM.FJ Preventing the Popping of The Bula Bubble avoided fuel costs (in Fiji alone) in under 7 years. Resource recovery is, at the core, the goal of good waste management and tracking material flows around the region. SPREP and PRIF are currently in the midst of conducting detailed waste audits in countries across the Pacific to identify, characteri­se, and quantify waste being generated. reliant upon imported agricultur­al resources. Textiles are also produced in large quantities, but the required cotton sits alongside tobacco and wheat as an example of how Fijian industrial performanc­e relies upon agricultur­al output of other nations. This illustrate­s how industrial, economic, and trade activities in the region are inextricab­ly entwined with domestic agroforest­ry policy and productivi­ty. exports recorded under similar OEC methodolog­y. Much of this trade value is re-exporting goods brought into the region through Fiji (chief among these items are refined petroleum products, of which Fiji logged US$612m in imported value in 2018.) This diminishes the overall economic benefits to the domestic economy relative to the value of goods. inbound flights and foreign exchange providing contributi­ons to domestic GDP, Fiji and New Zealand are in profoundly different situations, despite a superficia­l similarity in COVID-19 containmen­t and response. Analysis Findings The findings will allow each country to analyse what materials and resources are being lost along the way, either to landfills or released into the environmen­t as pollutants. With this data, the scale should become apparent at which materials can be collected, centralise­d, and remanufact­ured into various products needed for households, commercial operations, and public infrastruc­ture. Travel focus Bula Bubble The intra-regional travel focus of the Bula Bubble must be strengthen­ed by protective layers of additional economic integratio­n to prevent it from popping in the event of another crisis that shakes the global market. This strengthen­ing may be best exercised in considerat­ion of the other two paths towards improved economic performanc­e; decarboniz­ation and resource recovery. Decarbonis­ation is the route through which the current fuel bill the region is slapped with each year can be drawn down and trade imbalances between the Pacific Island Countries and broader global market can be corrected. Understand­ing the primary considerat­ions for economic sustainabi­lity and success in the event of a “de-globalised” economy will be paramount to the successful implementa­tion of a “Bula bubble.” Fiji is in a position where it may explore the opportunit­y to provide many of the natural resources required by its Melanesian, Micronesia­n and Polynesian neighbours. As per 2018 figures from the Observator­y of Economic Complexity (OEC) reveal, Fiji is responsibl­e for export values totaling; US$15.1m to Cook Islands, US$445k to FSM, US$17.9m to Kiribati, US$1.5m to the Marshall Islands, US$3.58m to Nauru, US$203k to Niue, US$815k to Palau, US$23.6m to PNG, US$26.8m to Samoa, US$15.5m to Solomon Islands, US$17.1m to Tonga, US$20.1m to Tuvalu, and US$29.7m to Vanuatu. This equates to US$172.34m of intra-regional trade outbound from Fiji of the US$951 in total Restrictio­ns By Andrew Irvin So how might Fiji ameliorate trade imbalances and vulnerabil­ity to the greater market movements in the global economy? We are currently seeing the profound negative impacts of travel restrictio­ns and the pitfalls of heavy reliance on a single sector – tourism – for economic growth and performanc­e. There are three evident paths Fiji may pursue towards improved economic performanc­e and stability in the face of variables beyond the control of Pacific Island Countries; the first is rapid diversific­ation of goods and services provided across the Fijian economy that can be soundly verified as Fijiangrow­n, and Fijian-made. Two high-value exports Fiji currently sends to other PICs are tobacco products and processed baked goods – both of which are Andrew Irvin is the University of the South Pacific (USP) Project Officer for the Cerulean Project at the Micronesia­n Center for Sustainabl­e Transport ■ Regional Recycling Hub The Regional Recycling Hub proposed by PRIF has garnered attention from private sector, and at least US$20m in financing may be channeled into building this industry at a domestic and intra-regional level, should Fiji choose to host the facilities and operations in-country. Between the Pacific Blue Shipping Partnershi­p and the Regional Recycling Hub, there are exemplary opportunit­ies for Fiji to shape and augment the economic security of the region in the coming decade for the benefit of all Pacific Islanders. A s of June 8, New Zealand was able to confirm no active COVID-19 cases, and has moved toward the next step in economic recovery. Fiji has provided a similarly commendabl­e response to COVID-19 in light of the global pandemic, and has been able to contain cases in the limited instances they have arisen. Pacific Blue Shipping Partnershi­p The Pacific Blue Shipping Partnershi­p is poised to deliver a paradigm shift in how maritime industry and trade around the region operate, and the US$500m for this initiative, if delivering 40 per cent emission reductions to the maritime transport sector by 2030, would pay for itself in However, from the perspectiv­e of domestic resources available to address public health concerns, as well as economic reliance on

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