29 May 2007

Fiji economy headed for darker days says academic

10:53 am on 29 May 2007

A senior Fiji economist says the country's financial position is showing little sign of improvement and the economic future remains gloomy.

Dr Mahendra Reddy of the University of the South Pacific has told the Fiji Times exports are not picking up and tourism is not responding too well.

He says there is an urgent need to address the fundamentals to start fixing the problem.

He says leases are expiring and land is being withdrawn from agriculture with experienced farmers leaving the rural areas.

Dr Reddy says this will have an impact on the ability to raise rural output as well as putting pressure on already strained urban amenities.

He says the move to combine police and military operations is a positive development in tacking crime and should be encouraged.

But Dr Reddy stresses that on the economic front, the picture remains gloomy.