Government should continue to pursue structural reforms that help to improve the business environment in Fiji - IMF

Government should continue to pursue structural reforms that help to improve the business environment in Fiji - IMF

By Semi Turaga
Friday 13/12/2019
IMF Mission Chief to Fiji, Pablo Lopez Murphy

The International Monetary Fund says the government should continue to pursue structural reforms that help to improve the business environment in Fiji.

IMF Mission Chief to Fiji, Pablo Lopez Murphy says he agrees with the view that there is a slowdown in economic activity in 2019 due to the slowdown of the global economy and reduced government spending.

He says they think that there was a liquidity crunch at some point in May this year that probably affected business confidence but that tight liquidity situation was reversed in the second half of the year hence they would expect that business confidence will recover in this context of normalised liquidity.

Murphy says at the same time, they think the government will have to pursue the reforms to improve the business environment in Fiji given that this is so important for the private sector.

He says he had a very productive meeting with the Permanent Secretary for Industry, Trade and Tourism and they had an extensive discussion about a Taskforce that has been set up to try to address all these bottle necks and impediments to business activity.

Murphy says good diagnosis and high quality plans come hand in hand with strong implementation of those plans.

Murphy says implementation in these areas is difficult because it requires coordination across several Ministries.

The government has already approved the establishment of a new Ease of Doing Business taskforce under the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Tourism.

The taskforce aims to streamline procedures and processes, eliminate repetition and inconsistencies and bring business transparency to new heights to Fiji.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has already said initial initiatives under Digital Fiji have already brought a number of company registration services online for the first time including e-payment for registration under the Biz Fiji portal.

He said this new online business portal has given users the ability to access a step by step guide and checklist to easily walk them through the registration process and allows them to download application forms to start a business or obtain a construction permit.

Bainimarama also said over the course of the next 18 months, Biz Fiji will evolve into a full online submission and approvals portal allowing business licenses and construction permits to be issued entirely online.

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