Fiji 2002Fiji

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The Fives Hotels

Fiji - Introduction 2002
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Background: Fiji became independent in 1970 after nearly a century as a British colony. Democratic rule was interrupted by two military coups in 1987 caused by concern over a government perceived as dominated by the Indian community (descendants of contract laborers brought to the islands by the British in the 19th century). A 1990 constitution favored native Melanesian control of Fiji but led to heavy Indian emigration; the population loss resulted in economic difficulties but ensured that Melanesians became the majority. Amendments enacted in 1997 made the constitution more equitable. Free and peaceful elections in 1999 resulted in a government led by an Indo-Fijian but a coup in May of 2000 ushered in a prolonged period of political turmoil. Parliamentary elections held in August 2001 provided Fiji with a democratically elected government and gave a mandate to the government of Prime Minister Laisenia QARASE.

Fiji - Geography 2002
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Location: Oceania island group in the South Pacific Ocean about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand

Geographic coordinates: 18 00 S 175 00 E

Map referenceOceania

Total: 18,270 km²
Water: 0 km²
Land: 18,270 km²
Comparative: slightly smaller than New Jersey

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 1129 km

Maritime claims
Territorial sea: 12 NM
Exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
Continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation; rectilinear shelf claim added

Climate: tropical marine; only slight seasonal temperature variation

Terrain: mostly mountains of volcanic origin

Extremes lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Extremes highest point: Tomanivi 1,324 m

Natural resources: timber fish gold copper offshore oil potential hydropower
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 10.95%
Permanent crops: 4.65%
Other: 84.4% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land: 30 km² (1998 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: cyclonic storms can occur from November to January

Note: includes 332 islands of which approximately 110 are inhabited

Fiji - People 2002
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Population: 856,346 (July 2002 est.)
Growth rate: 1.41% (2002 est.)
Below poverty line: 26% (1990-91 )

Noun: Fijian
Adjective: Fijian

Ethnic groups: Fijian 51% (predominantly Melanesian with a Polynesian admixture) Indian 44% European other Pacific Islanders overseas Chinese and other 5% (1998 est.)

Languages: English (official) Fijian Hindustani

Note: Fijians are mainly Christian, Indians are Hindu, and there is a Muslim minority (1986)

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 32.5% (male 141,757; female 136,198)
15-64 years: 63.8% (male 273,658; female 273,100)
65 years and over: 3.7% (male 14,648; female 16,985) (2002 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 1.41% (2002 est.)

Birth rate: 23.2 births/1000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate: 5.72 deaths/1000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate: -3.35 migrant(s)/1000 population (2002 est.)

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: deforestation; soil erosion
International agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94
International agreements signed but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male/female
15-64 years: 1 male/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male/female
Total population: 1.01 male/female (2002 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 13.72 deaths/1000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 68.56 years
Female: 71.11 years (2002 est.)
Male: 66.13 years

Total fertility rate: 2.83 children born/woman (2002 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access

Adult prevalence rate: 0.07% (1999 est.)
People living with hivaids: 85 (2000 est.)
Deaths: NA

Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 92.5%
Male: 90%
Female: 95% (1999 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Fiji - Government 2002
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Country name
Conventional long form: Republic of the Fiji Islands
Conventional short form: Fiji

Government type
Note: military coup leader Maj. Gen. Sitiveni RABUKA formally declared Fiji a republic on 6 October 1987

Capital: Suva

Administrative divisions: 4 divisions and 1 dependency*; Central Eastern Northern Rotuma* Western

Dependent areas

Independence: 10 October 1970 (from UK)

National holiday: Independence Day second Monday of October (1970)

Constitution: promulgated on 25 July 1990 and amended on 25 July 1997 to allow nonethnic Fijians greater say in government and to make multiparty government mandatory; entered into force 28 July 1998; note - the May 1999 election was the first test of the amended constitution and introduced open voting - not racially prescribed - for the first time at the national level

Legal system: based on British system

International law organization participation


Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal

Executive branch
Chief of state: President Ratu Josefa ILOILOVATU Uluivuda (since NA 2000); Vice President Jope SENILOLI (since NA 2000)
Head of government: Prime Minister Laisenia QARASE (since 10 September 2000); Deputy Prime Minister Ratu Epeli NAILATIKAU (since NA 2000)
Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister from among the members of Parliament and is responsible to Parliament; note - there is also a Presidential Council that advises the president on matters of national importance and a Great Council of Chiefs which consists of the highest ranking members of the traditional chief system
Elections: president elected by the Great Council of Chiefs for a five-year term; prime minister appointed by the president
Election results: Ratu Josefa ILOILOVATU Uluivuda elected president by the Great Council of Chiefs; percent of vote - NA%

Legislative branch
Elections: House of Representatives - last held 25 August, 2 September, 19 September 2001 (next to be held NA September 2006)
Election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - FLP 34.8%, SDL 26%, NFP 10.1%, MV 9.9%, independents 2.7%, other 16.5%; seats by party - SDL 32, FLP 27, MV 6, NFP 1, independents 2, other 3

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president); Court of Appeal; High Court; Magistrates' Courts

Political parties and leaders: Bai Kei Viti Party or BKV [Ratu Tevita MOMOEDONU]; Christian Democrat Alliance or VLV [leader NA]; Conservative Alliance Party/Matanitu Vanua or MV [Ratu Rakuita VAKALALABURE]; Dodonu Ni Taukei Party or DNT [leader NA]; Fiji Labor Party or FLP [Mahendra CHAUDRHRY]; Fijian Association Party of FAP [Adi Kuini SPEED]; Fijian Political Party or SVT (primarily Fijian) [Felipe BOLE]; General Voters Party or GHP [leader NA]; Girmit Heritage Party or GHP [leader NA]; Justice and Freedom Party or AIM [leader NA]; Lio 'On Famor Rotuma Party or LFR [leader NA]; National Federation Party or NFP (primarily Indian) [Attar SINGH]; Nationalist Vanua Tako Lavo Party or NVTLP [Samisoni BOLATAGICI]; New Labor Unity Party or NLUP [Tupeni BABA]; Party of National Unity or PANU [leader NA]; Party of the Truth or POTT [leader NA]; United Fiji Party/Sogosogo Duavata ni Lewenivanua or SDL [Laisenia QARASE]; United General Party or UGP [Mick BEDDOES]


Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador Anare JALE
In the us fax: [1] (202) 337-1996
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 337-8,320
In the us chancery: 2,233 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Suite 240, Washington, DC 20,007
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador David L. LYON
From the us embassy: 31 Loftus Street, Suva
From the us mailing address: P. O. Box 218, Suva
From the us telephone: [679] 314,466
From the us fax: [679] 300,081

Flag descriptionflag of Fiji: light blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Fijian shield centered on the outer half of the flag; the shield depicts a yellow lion above a white field quartered by the cross of Saint George featuring stalks of sugarcane a palm tree bananas and a white dove

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Fiji - Economy 2002
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Economy overview: Fiji endowed with forest mineral and fish resources is one of the most developed of the Pacific island economies though still with a large subsistence sector. Sugar exports and a growing tourist industry - with 300,000 to 400,000 tourists annually - are the major sources of foreign exchange. Sugar processing makes up one-third of industrial activity. Long-term problems include low investment and uncertain property rights. The political turmoil in Fiji has had a severe impact with the economy shrinking by 2.8% in 2000 and growing by only 1% in 2001. The Fiji Visitor's Bureau expects visitor arrivals to reach pre-coup levels during 2002. The government's ability to manage its budget - which is expected to run a net deficit of 6% in 2002 - will depend upon a return of political stability and investor confidence.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 1% (2001 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 17%
Industry: 25%
Services: 58% (2000 est.)

Agriculture products: sugarcane coconuts cassava (tapioca) rice sweet potatoes bananas; cattle pigs horses goats; fish

Industries: tourism sugar clothing copra gold silver lumber small cottage industries

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Labor force: 137,000 (1999)
By occupation: agriculture including subsistence agriculture 70% (2001 est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 7.6% (1999)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: 26% (1990-91 )

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10: NA%
Highest 10: NA%

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $427.9 million
Expenditures: $531.4 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 3% (2000 est.)

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $572 million f.o.b. (2000)
Commodities: sugar garments gold timber fish molasses coconut oil
Partners: Australia 24.9% US 20.8% UK 14.4% Japan 5.1% other Pacific island countries 5.0% NZ 3.6% (2000)

Imports: $833 million c.i.f. (2000)
Commodities: manufactured goods machinery and transport equipment petroleum products food chemicals
Partners: Australia 46.2% NZ 13.1% Singapore 6.6% Japan 4.5% Hong Kong 3.8% US 3.2% Taiwan 3.0% (2000)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $162.7 million (1999)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Fijian dollars per US dollar - 2.2934 (January 2002) 2.2766 (2001) 2.1286 (2000) 1.9696 (1999) 1.9868 (1998) 1.4437 (1997)

Fiji - Energy 2002
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 515 million kWh (2000)
By source fossil fuel: 18%
By source hydro: 82%
By source other: 0% (2000)
By source nuclear: 0%

Electricity consumption: 478.95 million kWh (2000)

Electricity exports: 0 kWh (2000)

Electricity imports: 0 kWh (2000)

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Fiji - Communication 2002
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: 5,200 (1997)

Telephone system
General assessment: modern local, interisland, and international (wire/radio integrated) public and special-purpose telephone, telegraph, and teleprinter facilities; regional radio communications center
Domestic: NA
International: access to important cable links between US and Canada as well as between NZ and Australia; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

Broadcast media

Internet country code: .fj

Internet users: 15,000 (2002)

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Fiji - Military 2002
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $35 million (FY00)
Percent of gdp: 2.2% (FY00)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Fiji - Transportation 2002
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 27 (2001)
With paved runways total: 3
With paved runways over 3047 m: 1
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 1
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 1 (2002)
With unpaved runways total: 24
With unpaved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 1
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 6
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 18 (2002)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 3
Over 3047 m: 1
15-24 to 2437 m: 1
914 to 1523 m: 1 (2002)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 24
15-24 to 2437 m: 1
914 to 1523 m: 6
Under 914 m: 18 (2002)



Total: 597 km
Narrow gauge: 597 km 0.610-m gauge
Note: belongs to the government-owned Fiji Sugar Corporation (1995)


Note: 122 km navigable by motorized craft and 200-metric-ton barges

Merchant marine
Total: 6 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 11,870 GRT/14,787 DWT
Ships by type: chemical tanker 2, passenger 1, petroleum tanker 1, roll on/roll off 1, specialized tanker 1, includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Australia 1, Singapore 4

Ports and terminals

Fiji - Transnational issues 2002
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Disputes international: none

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

Crystal Travel

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