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Why Fiji is Not the 'Mauritius' of the Pacific? Lessons for Small Island Nations in the Pacific

26 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2012 Last revised: 19 Sep 2012

Biman Chand Prasad

University of the South Pacific - School of Economics; University of the South Pacific - Oceania Development Network

Date Written: September 1, 2012

Abstract

Fiji is in the midst of a consultation process for a new Constitution on which General Elections are scheduled to be held in 2014. The new Constitution is going to be the fourth one for Fiji. During the first decade of independence, Fiji’s economy grew at a rate of more than 5% per annum. However, the path to economic prosperity was disrupted by the military coup in 1987 and since then we have had coups in 2000 and 2006. As a small island nation, Fiji’s economic progress has been dismal and this can largely be attributed to the political instability created by the coups. Small island states like Mauritius has had uninterrupted growth rates in the same period and as a result has delivered significant improvement in the quality of life of its people. This paper discusses why Fiji could not become the Mauritius of the Pacific and points out to the lack of political stability and inclusive economic and political institutions as the major causes of poor economic performance for the last 25 years.

Keywords: Fiji, Mauritius, Economic Development, Development

JEL Classification: O10, O11, O19

Suggested Citation

Prasad, Biman Chand, Why Fiji is Not the 'Mauritius' of the Pacific? Lessons for Small Island Nations in the Pacific (September 1, 2012). Development Policy Centre Discussion Paper No. 23 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2141800 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2141800

Biman Chand Prasad (Contact Author)

University of the South Pacific - School of Economics ( email )

Private Bag, Laucala Campus
Suva
Fiji

University of the South Pacific - Oceania Development Network ( email )

Suva
Fiji

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