In announcing the revised Fiji budget for 2007, the Interim Finance Minister claimed that there was little choice for the economy but to swim, or else it would sink. This survey endorses the Interim Minister's view that the prevailing economic problems are the cumulative outcome of decades of poor economic management but disagrees with his conclusion that the only options are 'swimming' or 'sinking'. Much like the previous three coups, the December 2006 coup exacerbated an economic decline that was well under way when the current administration took office. Each coup, moreover, has on average wiped off three years of economic progress. Hard choices have to be made, and the Interim Government has to learn to swim out of the economic turbulence created by the last coup. Failing that, the administration could 'just float', but is more likely to be sucked into an economic crisis that will draw many more into poverty. Learning to swim will entail restoring political stability, improving governance, and charting a clear and quick path to democratic rule.
|Journal||Pacific Economic Bulletin|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|