CAPTION: PS Finance, Filimoni Waqabaca and World Bank’s Executive Director for the South East Asia Group, Dr Sundaran Annamalai.
Government’s reforms and initiatives will further strengthen the Fijian economy, says the World Bank’s Executive Director for the South East Asia Group, Dr Sundaran Annamalai.
Dr Annamalai commended the financial reforms implemented by the Bainimarama Government following a meeting with Fiji’s Ministry of Finance permanent secretary Filimoni Waqabaca in Suva this morning.
“There has been a lot of important work that has been carried out on the reform side and I am happy to see that,” Dr Annamalai said.
“This is the message that I will take back to the World Bank.”
The senior world bank official was also briefed this week by Fiji’s central bank; the Reserve Bank of Fiji, on Fiji’s overall financial standing.
“The RBF has given me a good overview of the economy and with the changes that have occurred over the last few years,” Dr Annamalai said.
“There is quite a lot of optimism and the Fijian economy has recovered well from the financial crisis.”
Highlighting his meeting with the Ministry of Finance, Dr Annamalai pointed out that he now has a better understanding of the growth trajectory of Fiji’s economy.
“Our discussions include an overview of macro-economic and physical policy issues which is also a regular consultation that the bank does with our client countries,” Dr Annamalai said.
“We know that Fiji has medium term plans and needs infrastructure such as roads and ports so when the bank starts to engage with the government here, these are some of the priority areas that the bank can consider supporting.”
Fiji’s Ministry of Finance permanent secretary Filimoni Waqabaca said that the Ministry has highlighted certain critical areas that would assist Fiji in growing the economy.
“There are certain needs from government’s side that needs to be addressed and these needs were presented to Dr Annamalai during his visit,” Mr Waqabaca said.
“There are normal processes that we have to go through but we have highlighted certain areas that are critical for us in terms of growing the economy.
“We also have the objective of increasing investment and the emphasis is therefore on certain sectors such as infrastructure development.”