ADB Ap­proves $430M Fiji Loan

PRI­VATE SEC­TOR AND IN­VEST­MENT CAN EX­PECT A MORE CON­DUCIVE EN­VI­RON­MENT FROM THE BEN­E­FITS

Fiji Sun - - WORLD BUSINESS -

The Asian De­vel­op­ment Bank (ADB) has ap­proved a $200 mil­lion (FJ$430 mil­lion) pol­icy-based loan to boost in­vest­ment in Fiji’s pri­vate sec­tor to help the coun­try’s econ­omy cope with, and re­bound from, the im­pact of the coro­n­avirus dis­ease (COVID-19) pan­demic.

Re­forms

The loan will help cre­ate a more con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment for pri­vate in­vest­ment and busi­ness own­ers. It will also sup­port re­forms to im­prove the man­age­ment of pub­lic fi­nances and strengthen the per­for­mance of state-owned en­ter­prises, which will have ben­e­fits for the pri­vate sec­tor.

The as­sis­tance is the third phase of a pro­gram de­vel­oped in part­ner­ship with the gov­ern­ments of Aus­tralia and New Zealand, the World Bank Group, and the Asian In­fra­struc­ture In­vest­ment Bank.

Sup­port

Fi­nan­cial and tech­ni­cal sup­port for the pro­gram was pro­vided by ADB, the gov­ern­ments of Aus­tralia and New Zealand, the World Bank Group, and the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund’s Pa­cific Fi­nan­cial Tech­ni­cal As­sis­tance Cen­tre.

“ADB is not only sup­port­ing Fiji’s re­sponse to the COVID-19 pan­demic, but also work­ing to cre­ate a busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment con­ducive to pri­vate sec­tor growth, which in turn will drive eco­nomic recovery and long-term growth through in­vest­ment,” said ADB di­rec­tor gen­eral for the Pa­cific Leah Gu­tier­rez.

“Fiji ap­pre­ci­ates ADB’s wellplaced faith in our ca­pac­ity to im­ple­ment pol­icy re­forms, which build pri­vate sec­tor con­fi­dence in the face of COVID-19’s se­vere eco­nomic chal­lenges.

Crit­i­cal

“As this pan­demic dec­i­mates the world econ­omy, ac­tiv­ity in both the pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tors is crit­i­cal to pro­tect­ing Fi­jian liveli­hoods and stim­u­lat­ing a long-term eco­nomic recovery,” said At­tor­ney Gen­eral and Min­is­ter for Econ­omy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

“We look to our mul­ti­lat­eral part­ners, like ADB, to con­tinue their sup­port to­ward Fiji’s tra­di­tional and in­no­va­tive ap­proaches to re­viv­ing the sec­tors most se­verely im­pacted by COVID-19.”

The pro­gram sup­ports re­forms that will help Fiji’s tourism-de­pen­dent econ­omy to re­cover from the COVID-19 pan­demic and build re­silience to fu­ture eco­nomic and fis­cal shocks.

Re­forms

Re­forms in­clude strength­en­ing in­vestor rights and stream­lin­ing the in­vest­ment ap­proval process. Ac­cess to fi­nance will be im­proved through the ac­ti­va­tion of the ADB-sup­ported Per­sonal Prop­erty Se­cu­ri­ties Reg­istry, which makes it eas­ier for peo­ple to se­cure loans to start or grow a busi­ness us­ing move­able as­sets.

This re­form will par­tic­u­larly ben­e­fit women who are un­likely to have fixed as­sets such as land. Sim­pli­fy­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion process for con­struc­tion per­mits will also im­prove the coun­try’s ease of do­ing busi­ness process.

Com­mit­ment

ADB is com­mit­ted to achiev­ing a pros­per­ous, in­clu­sive, re­silient, and sus­tain­able Asia and the Pa­cific, while sus­tain­ing its ef­forts to erad­i­cate ex­treme poverty.

In 2018, it made com­mit­ments of new loans and grants amount­ing to $21.6 bil­lion.

Es­tab­lished in 1966, it is owned by 68 mem­bers—49 from the re­gion.

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