EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Fiji has traditionally been the economic, transportation, and academic hub of the South Pacific islands. The economy is experiencing a strong recovery and rebound after the sharp contraction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The recovery is driven by the return of tourism and increased consumption spending. Following an estimated growth of 15.6 percent in 2022, the economy is estimated to expand by 6.0 percent in 2023. The government anticipates that the economy will rebound to a pre-pandemic level by 2024, but its outlook is vulnerable to continuing geopolitical tensions, threats of natural disaster and the government’s large public debt. As at July 2022, the public debt exceeded 90 percent of Fiji’s GDP. The government welcomes foreign investment and parliament passed the Investment Act 2021 to improve the ease of doing business in Fiji. Investment activity improved in 2022 and is expected to pick up following the peaceful transition of government after general elections were held in 2022. U.S. exports to Fiji totaled over $64 million in 2022. The United States is Fiji’s top export market. In 2022, U.S. consumers bought over $288 million in Fijian goods and services.

Fiji has trade and investment potential and offers incentives to encourage investments in agriculture, residential housing development, energy, audio & visual, retirement village/aged care facilities, health sector, tourism, manufacturing, and the information communication technology (ICT)/business process outsourcing (BPO) sector.

Table 1: Key Metrics and Rankings
Measure Year Index/Rank Website Address
TI Corruption Perceptions Index 2022 49/100 http://www.transparency.org/research/cpi/overview 
Global Innovation Index 2022 N/A https://www.globalinnovationindex.org/analysis-indicator 
U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, historical stock positions) 2019 $109.39M https://apps.bea.gov/international/factsheet/  
World Bank GNI per capita (USD) 2021 $4,500 https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GNP.PCAP.CD   

Policies Towards Foreign Direct Investment

The Fiji government welcomes foreign investment. The Investment Act 2021 replaced the Foreign Investment Act 1999 and aims to improve the ease of doing business in Fiji by streamlining the business registration process; attracting foreign and domestic investment; and providing equity for investors with transparent, reliable, efficient, and fair rules and procedures. The law came into effect in August 2022. Foreign investors are no longer required to register for a Foreign Investment Registration Certificate (FIRC). The new law also strengthens the rights and obligations of the investors.

Under the Investment Act 2021, both domestic and foreign investors will undergo the business registration process with the Registrar of Companies and annually report to the government’s investment promotion and facilitation agency, Investment Fiji. One of the investors’ rights under the law is in reference to national treatment and the most-favored-nation principle whereby foreign investors must be treated no less favorably, in like circumstances, than domestic investors with respect to the acquisition, expansion, management, conduct, operation, sale, or other disposition of investments in Fiji. Fiji’s Department of Immigration is responsible for managing investor permits for non-citizen investors.

Investment Fiji is responsible for the promotion of foreign investment in the interest of national development, and its key priorities include investment promotion, facilitation and aftercare support for both new and existing foreign and domestic investors. Investment Fiji also hosts information seminars for visiting foreign business delegations and participates at investment missions overseas.

The Fijian government supports and encourages existing businesses to re-invest. Several industry associations have been established which provide a forum for companies to share concerns and ideas in the industry. Examples of these industry associations include the Textile, Clothing, and Footwear (TCF) Council of Fiji, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Council of Fiji, and the Fiji Manufacturers Association.

Limits on Foreign Control and Right to Private Ownership and Establishment

Investors are free to invest in all sectors and regions in Fiji provided it does not contravene the Investment Act 2021 and other laws in place.

There are nine investment activities that are subject to restrictions, including larger minimum thresholds for investments (see “business facilitation” below). Restricted activities with minimum thresholds of $225,000 (FJD$500,000) include retail businesses, nightclub and liquor bar operations outside the vicinity of a hotel or resort, and logging. For investments in fishing, manufacturing of tobacco products, homestay and backpacker operations, hotels or resorts, and real estate activities, the minimum threshold ranges from $449,500 (FJD$1.0million) to $899,000 (FJD$2.0million). The manufacturing of tobacco products also requires at least 75 percent locally grown and processed tobacco. The current list of restricted areas can be found at  https://www.bizfiji.com/foreign-investment-reporting .

Investments in a sector that may have potential effects on critical infrastructure such as energy, transport, communications, data storage, or financial infrastructure; critical technologies; the security of supply of critical inputs; or access to sensitive information or the ability to control sensitive information must have their proposals submitted for Ministerial approval with the relevant ministry.

Other Investment Policy Reviews

The government’s 2023 National Economic Summit in May composed of public, private and the NGO sector representatives will review sectoral policies with the aim to create a collective national vision with adequate sector policies and an implementation framework to chart a path towards economic recovery.

The Fiji Civil Society Organization released a 2016-2019 report on Sustainable Development Goals. The report details ways in which civil society and community groups contribute to the achievement of the 17 SDGs in Fiji. This includes Goals 7, 8, 9 & 10 on “affordable and clean energy; and decent work and economic growth” and “industry, innovation, and infrastructure; and reduced inequality.”

Australia is the largest donor for civil society in Fiji and currently supports CSOs through bilateral, regional, and global initiatives.

Business Facilitation

The Fiji government’s bizFiji website (https://www.bizfiji.com/) is an information portal for new and existing businesses, as well as foreign investors. The portal provides information on the business registration process, how to obtain construction permits, and includes application forms and links to all the required agencies, including the Registrar of Companies, Fiji Revenue and Customs Services (FRCS), Fiji National Provident Fund, National Occupational Health and Safety Services, and Fiji National University. The government’s reforms to improve the ease and reduce the cost of doing business include the removal of the business license requirement for low-risk businesses, reduction of the processing times from five days to 48 hours to issue business licenses, and the removal of several requirements for existing businesses. Since the launch of bizFiji in 2019, the government has worked to develop a single online clearance system to improve registration processes, but inefficiencies remain.
For foreign investors, the bizFiji website is also linked to the Investment Fiji website. The company registration form and procedures, as well as regulations for foreign investment, is available. Foreign investors will need to register in line with the Companies Act 2015 and register a tax identification number (TIN). There is a minimum threshold of $135,000 (FJD$300,000) for foreign investment into any sector that is not classified as restricted. Foreign investors must within three months bring into Fiji the minimum threshold capital while the remaining capital is to be paid within a year of registration.
Investors are also required to obtain the necessary permits and licenses from other relevant authorities and should be prepared for delays. There are no special services or preferences to facilitate investment and business operations by micro, small, and medium sized enterprises, or by women.
The Ministry of Trade, Co-operatives, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Communications (MTCSME) has formed an inter-agency Investment Facilitation Committee to support high-value investments. The Committee will help address regulatory and administrative bottlenecks faced by investors.
Contact: Ministry of Trade, Co-operatives, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Communications, Level 2 and 3, Civic Tower, Victoria Parade, Suva; Telephone: (679) 330 5411; Website: www.mcttt.gov.fj 

Outward Investment

The Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) tightened exchange controls for any outward investment by individuals, companies, and non-bank financial institutions, including the Fiji National Provident Fund, which require clearance from the RBF.

Fiji does not have any Bilateral Investment Treaties in force but has signed Treaties with Investment Provisions (TIPs) with the European Union and Australia. In 2020, Fiji signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) with the United States and discussions are underway on a wide range of issues to expand trade and investment.

Fiji is not a member of the OECD Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting. Fiji has double taxation agreements with Australia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. Fiji has not entered into a double taxation agreement with the United States.

Transparency of the Regulatory System

Laws passed in parliament are available to the public on the parliament website and published in an official gazette. The lack of consultation with the private sector and other stakeholders on proposed laws and regulations under the previous government was an area of concern. The business community had complained that the government enacts new regulations with little prior notice or publicity. There is a perception among foreign investors that there is a lack of transparency in government procurement and approval processes. Some foreign investors considering investment in Fiji have encountered lengthy and costly bureaucratic delays, shuffling of permits among government ministries, inconsistent and changing procedures, lack of technical capacity, costly penalties due to the interpretation of tax regulations by the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS), and slow decision-making. The Biosecurity Authority of Fiji (BAF) regulates all food and animal products entering Fiji and has stringent and costly point-of-origin inspection and quarantine requirements for foreign goods. The government does not require companies to file an environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosure.
Fiji’s constitution provides for public access to government information and for the correction or deletion of false or misleading information. Although the constitution requires that a freedom of information law be enacted, no such law is in place yet. Proposed bills or regulations, including investment regulations, are made available and usually posted on the relevant ministry or regulatory authority’s website. The parliamentary website ( http://www.parliament.gov.fj/ ) is a centralized online location that publishes laws and regulations passed in parliament. The government’s public finances and debt obligations are also made available annually in the budget documents.

International Regulatory Considerations

Fiji is a member of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) that allows for the duty-free trade of goods between Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, and Solomon Islands. Fiji has been a member of the WTO since January 1996. According to Fiji’s trade profile on the WTO website, there are no records of disputes. Fiji ratified the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement in 2017.

Legal System and Judicial Independence

The legal system in Fiji was developed from British law. Fiji maintains a judiciary consisting of a Supreme Court, a Court of Appeal, a High Court, and magistrate courts. The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal.

Both companies and individuals have recourse to legal treatment through the system of local and superior courts. A foreign investor theoretically has the right of recourse to the courts and tribunals of Fiji with respect to the settlement of disputes, but government laws have been used to block foreign investors from legal recourse in investment takeovers, tax increases, or write-offs of interest to the government.

Laws and Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment

The Investment Act 2021 was implemented in 2022, replacing the Foreign Investment Act (FIA) and the 2009 Foreign Investment Regulation, and regulates foreign investment in Fiji. Information on the registration procedures, regulations, and registration requirements for foreign investment is available on the Investment Fiji website: http://www.investmentfiji.org.fj .
The Fiji government’s bizFiji website ( www.business-fiji.com ), an information portal for businesses and foreign investors, includes links to the Investment Fiji website. The government has worked to develop a single online clearance system to improve registration processes, but inefficiencies remain.

Competition and Antitrust Laws

The Fiji Competition and Commerce Commission (FCCC) regulates monopolies, promotes competition, and controls prices of selected hardware, basic food items, and utilities, to ensure a fair, competitive, and equitable market.

Expropriation and Compensation

Expropriation has not historically been a common phenomenon in Fiji. A foreign investor theoretically has the same right of recourse as a Fijian enterprise to the courts and other tribunals of Fiji to settle disputes. In practice, the government has acted to assert its interests with laws affecting foreign investors.

The Investment Act 2021 and section 27 of the Constitution of the Republic of Fiji provides an investor protection from compulsory or arbitrary acquisition of property, in respect of their investments.

Dispute Settlement

ICSID Convention and New York Convention


Fiji acceded to the New York Convention in September 2010. Fiji has been a member of the ICSID since September 1977. However, there are no legislative or other measures adopted to make the convention effective.

Investor-State Dispute Settlement


The government has sometimes opted to penalize foreign investors in lieu of dispute settlement by deportation but there have been no new cases since 2016.

Past investment disputes have often focused on land issues, particularly in the mining, timber, and tourism sectors. Such disputes have been resolved through labor-management dialogue, government intervention, referral to compulsory arbitration, or through the courts. In some instances, the investors have withdrawn from Fiji when a resolution could not be found. Fiji is a party to the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes Between States and Nationals of Other States.
The World Bank Doing Business 2020 survey ranked Fiji 101 out of 190 on the efficiency of the judicial system to resolve a commercial dispute. According to the survey, Fiji took 397 calendar days to complete procedures at a cost of 42.6 percent of the value of the claim.

International Commercial Arbitration and Foreign Courts


Fiji is a party to the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes Between States and Nationals of Other States. Fiji acceded to the New York Convention in September 2010. Fiji also enacted the International Arbitration Act to improve the framework governing international commercial arbitration, adopting a version of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNICTRAL) model law on arbitration. The Fiji Mediation Center (FMC) is an alternative dispute resolution mechanism, with local and international mediators accredited by the Center in collaboration with Singapore.

Bankruptcy Regulations

Fiji’s Companies Act 2015 has provisions relating to solvency and negative solvency. According to the 2020 World Bank Doing Business survey, prior to COVID-19, in terms of resolving insolvency, it took an estimated 1.8 years at a cost of ten percent of the estate to complete the process, with an estimated recovery rate of 46.5 percent of value.

Investment Incentives

Fiji offers incentives for a range of sectors to encourage investments in agriculture, residential housing development, energy, audio & visual, retirement village / aged care facilities, health sector, tourism, manufacturing, and the information communication technology (ICT) / business process outsourcing (BPO) sector.

The Government is increasingly participating in public private partnerships. Although it does not practice issuing guarantees to foreign direct investments, it has previously offered a tax holiday for the entire period of the partnership agreement.

Fiji offers tax holidays for investments in biofuel production for investments of at least $112,000 (FJD$250,000). The tax holidays range from five to 13 years depending on the level of investment. The incentive package further includes duty free importation of plant, machinery, and equipment for initial establishment of the factory and duty-free importation of chemicals required for biofuel production. The importation of all agricultural items will be subject to zero duty provided a support letter is obtained from Fiji’s Ministry of Agriculture.

A five-year tax holiday is offered to investors for new renewable energy projects and power cogeneration upon approval. Investment projects for electric vehicle charging station businesses will receive a seven-year tax holiday and will be granted a subsidy up to a maximum of five percent of the total capital outlay incurred in the development of electric vehicle charging stations, provided the capital expenditure is at least $45,000 (FJD$100,000), and will be allowed to carry loss forward to eight years. Any business investing in electric buses shall be allowed a tax deduction of 55 percent.

Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports/Trade Facilitation

The northern and selected maritime regions of Fiji have been declared Tax Free Regions (TFR) to encourage development in these isolated outposts. The specific areas include Vanua Levu, Rotuma, Kadavu, Levuka, Lomaiviti, Lau, and the Nausori-Lautoka region (from the Nausori Airport side of the Rewa River (excluding township boundary) to the Ba side of the Matawalu River). Businesses established in these regions which meet the prescribed requirements enjoy a corporate tax holiday of up to 13 years and import duty exemption on raw materials, machinery, and equipment. The Wairabetia Economic Zone (WEZ) is a government project planned to be established by 2023 in Lautoka to provide the necessary facilities to support businesses with the provision of developed lots close to Lautoka Port and Nadi airport.

Performance and Data Localization Requirements

The government does not follow “forced localization.” However, immigration “time post” permits reserved for specialist positions encourage the transfer of knowledge and skills from expatriate workers to local workers. Investors permits are granted and extended by the Department of Immigration based on recommendations submitted by Investment Fiji through a progress report. The progress report provides the Department of Immigration an update on the progress of the investment project by the foreign investor.

There are performance requirements to use domestic content in goods to qualify for trade under the trade agreements between Fiji and partner countries, and to receive the “Fijian Made” branding by the MTCSME. These requirements apply to both foreign and domestic investors. Investment incentives are applied systematically. To support the implementation of newly approved investments, Investment Fiji’s monitoring system assists companies in obtaining necessary approvals to commence operations.

The U.S. Embassy is unaware of any policies regulating data storage or requiring foreign IT providers to turn over source code or provide access to surveillance.

Under the Investment Act 2021, any new investments relating to data storage or access to sensitive information or the ability to control sensitive information must have their proposals vetted by the MTCSME.

Real Property

Land tenure and usage in Fiji is a highly complex and sensitive issue. Fiji’s Land Sales Act of 2014 restricts ownership of freehold land inside a city or town council boundaries areas to Fijian citizens. There are exceptions to allow foreigners to purchase strata title land, which is defined as ownership in part of a property including multi-level apartments or subdivisions. Foreigners are still allowed to purchase, sell, or lease freehold land for industrial or commercial purposes, residential purposes within an integrated tourism development, or for the operation of a hotel licensed under the Hotel and Guest Houses Act. The Land Sales Act also requires foreign landowners who purchase approved land to build a dwelling valued at a minimum of $112,400 (FJD$250,000) on the land within two years or face an annual tax of 20 percent of the land value (applied as ten percent every six months). However, the law was not enforced. Freehold land currently owned by a non-Fijian can pass to the owners’ heirs and will not be deemed a sale.

According to the pre-COVID-19 World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business Report, registering property took a total of 69 days and involved four main processes, including conducting title searches at the Titles Office, presenting transfer documents for stamping at the Stamp Duty office, obtaining tax clearance on capital gains tax, and settlement at the Registrar of Titles Office.

Ethnic Fijians communally hold approximately 87 percent of all land. Crown land owned by the government accounts for four percent, while the remainder is freehold land, which private individuals or companies hold. All land owned by ethnic Fijians, commonly referred to as iTaukei land, is held in a statutory trust by the iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB) for the benefit of indigenous landholding units.

To improve access to land, the government established a land bank in the Ministry of Lands under the land use decree for the purpose of leasing land from indigenous landowning units (collections of households; under the indigenous communal landowning system, land is not owned by individuals) through the TLTB and subleasing the land to individual tenants for lease periods of up to 99 years.

The constitution includes other new provisions protecting land leases and land tenancies, but observers noted that the provisions had unintended consequences, including weakening the overall legal structure governing leases.

The availability of Crown land for leasing is usually advertised. This does not, however, preclude consideration given to individual applications in cases where land is required for special purposes. Government leases for industrial purposes can last up to 99 years with rents reassessed every ten years. TLTB leases for land nearer to urban locations are normally for 50-75 years. Annual rent is reassessed every five years. The maximum rent that can be levied in both cases is six percent of unimproved capital value. Leases also usually carry development conditions that require lessees to effect improvements within a specified time.

Apart from the requirements of the TLTB and Lands Department, town planning, conservation, and other requirements specified by central and local government authorities affect the use of land. Investors are urged to seek local legal advice in all transactions involving land.

Intellectual Property Rights

Fiji’s copyright laws are in conformity with World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) provisions. However, the enforcement of these laws remains weak, and capacity is a challenge.

Illegal materials and reproductions of films, sound recordings, and computer programs are widely available throughout Fiji. In 2021, Fiji’s parliament passed new intellectual property laws including the protection of trademarks, patents, and designs. The laws are yet to be implemented.

For additional information about national laws and points of contact at local IP offices, please see WIPO’s country profiles at http://www.wipo.int/directory/en/ .

Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment

The capital market is regulated and supervised by the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF). Twenty companies were listed on the Suva-based South Pacific Stock Exchange (SPSE). At the end of September 2022, market capitalization was $1.34 billion (FJD$2.98 billion), an annual decline of 7.2 percent compared to September 2021. To promote greater activity in the capital market, the government lowered corporate tax rates for listed companies to ten percent and exempted income earned from the trading of shares in the SPSE from income tax and capital gains tax. The RBF issued the Companies (Wholesale Corporate Bonds) Regulations 2021 to develop the domestic corporate bond market by providing a simplified process for the issuance of corporate bonds to eligible wholesale investors only.

Foreign investors are allowed to get credit from authorized banks and other lending institutions without the approval of the RBF for loans up to $4.5 million (FJD$10 million), provided the debt-to-equity ratio of 3:1 is satisfied.

Money and Banking System

Fiji has a well-developed banking system supervised by the Reserve Bank of Fiji. The RBF regulates the Fiji monetary and banking systems, manages the issuance of currency notes, administers exchange controls, and provides banking and other services to the government. In addition, it provides lender-of-last-resort facilities and regulates trading bank liquidity.

There are six commercial banks with established operations in Fiji: ANZ Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of South Pacific, Bred Bank, Home Finance Corporation (HFC), and Westpac Banking Corporation, with the HFC the only locally owned bank. Non-banking financial institutions also provide financial assistance and borrowing facilities to the commercial community and to consumers. These institutions include the Fiji Development Bank, Credit Corporation, Kontiki Finance, Merchant Finance, and insurance companies. As of September 2022, total assets of commercial banks amounted to $5.89 billion (FJD$13.1 billion). The RBF reported that liquidity reached $1.08billion (FJD$2.4 billion) in December 2022 and was sufficient and did not pose a risk to bank solvency. However, the RBF also noted that existing levels of non-performing loans could rise, with the ending of moratoriums offered by financial institutions to COVID-19 affected customers. To open a bank account, foreign investors need to provide a copy of the company registration and a letter of approval by the Reserve Bank for the issue of shares to the non-resident shareholders.

Foreign Exchange and Remittances

Foreign Exchange


The Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) tightened foreign exchange controls to safeguard foreign reserves and prevent capital flight to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. The Fiji dollar remains fully convertible. The Fiji dollar is pegged to a basket of currencies of Fiji’s principal trading partners, chiefly Australia, New Zealand, the United States, the European Union, and Japan.
Although no limits were placed on non-residents borrowing locally for some specified investment activities, the RBF placed a credit ceiling on lending by commercial banks to non-resident-controlled business entities.

Remittance Policies


The commercial banks require RBF approval for any investment profit remittances. Prior clearance of withholding tax payments on profit and dividend remittances is required from the Fiji Revenue and Customs Service. Tax compliance may restrict foreign investors’ repatriation of investment profits and capital. A tax clearance certificate is required for remittances above $4,500 (FJD$10,000) and audited accounts for amounts above $224,897 (FJD$500,000). The processing time for remittance applications is approximately three working days, contingent on all the required documentation being submitted to the RBF.

Sovereign Wealth Funds

The Fiji government does not maintain a sovereign wealth fund or asset management bureau in Fiji. The country’s pension fund scheme, the Fiji National Provident Fund, which manages and invests members’ retirement savings, accounts for a third of Fiji’s financial sector assets. The fund invests in equities, bonds, commercial paper, mortgages, real estate, and various offshore investments.

State-owned enterprises (SOEs) in Fiji are concentrated in utilities and key services and industries including aerospace (Fiji Airways, Airports Fiji Limited); agribusiness (Fiji Pine Ltd); energy (Energy Fiji Limited); food processing (Fiji Sugar Corporation, Pacific Fishing Company); information and communication (Amalgamated Telecom Holdings); and media (Fiji Broadcasting Corporation Ltd). There are 25 SOEs with combined assets valued at $3.82 billion (FJD $8.5billion) in 2021. The SOEs include 10 Government Commercial Companies which operate commercially and are fully owned by the government, five Commercial Statutory Authorities (CSA) which have regulatory functions and charge nominal fees for their services, seven Majority Owned Companies, and two Minority Owned Companies with some government equity. The SOEs that provide essential utilities, such as energy and water, also have social responsibility and non-commercial obligations. A list of SOEs is published in government’s annual budget documentation.

Aside from the CSAs, SOEs do not exercise delegated governmental powers. SOEs benefit from economies of scale and may be favored in certain sectors. The government has pursued a policy of opening or deregulating various sectors of the economy.

Privatization Program

The government is pursuing public private partnership (PPP) models in energy, aviation infrastructure, and public housing, often seeking technical assistance from development partners including the International Finance Corporation to implement these arrangements and to encourage more private sector participation. In 2021, a Japanese consortium acquired 44 percent shareholding in state utility company Energy Fiji Limited. Foreign investors are already partnering in public-private partnership arrangements in the health and maritime port sectors. In 2018, the government signed the first public private partnership agreement in the medical sector with Fiji’s pension fund and an Australian company to develop, upgrade, and operate the Ba and Lautoka hospitals, the country’s two major hospitals in the western region. The PPP arrangements were finalized in April 2022, and the new Ba hospital opened. The Ministry of Finance publishes these opportunities as Tenders or Expressions of Interest ( http://www.economy.gov.fj/ ).

Responsible Business Conduct (RBC) is increasingly promoted, and the government has included legal provisions to protect the environment, consumers, human rights, and labor rights, although its monitoring and enforcement of RBC is mixed. The media, civil society organizations, and labor unions play active roles in promoting RBC. In 2019, a foreign-owned tourism development project was cancelled after the media highlighted extensive environmental degradation by the project developers.

Additional Resources


Department of State

Department of the Treasury

Department of Labor

Department of Commerce

Climate Issues

The Fiji government has identified climate change as the single largest threat to Fiji’s development aspirations. The National Climate Change Policy 2018-2030 (NCCP) is the country’s overarching policy instrument for climate change and is closely aligned to Fiji’s 20-year National Development Plan. The NCCP outlines Fiji’s priorities and strategies in reducing present and future climate risks, while maximizing the country’s long-term gains in development.

The NCCP and the Low Emission Development Strategy (LEDS) solidifies Fiji’s commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. In 2021, Fiji signed a five-year agreement that will reward up to $12.5 million (approx. FJ$26 million) for its efforts to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. The landmark agreement is with the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), a global partnership housed at the World Bank. Fiji’s emission reductions program will address the main drivers of deforestation and forest degradation through integrated land use planning, native forest conservation, and sustainable pine and mahogany plantations.

The government has raised several financing initiatives to raise budgetary resources towards implementing its climate change commitments, including the issue of its first-ever sovereign green bond in November 2017 on the London Stock Exchange, the introduction of an Environmental and Climate Adaptation Levy (ECAL) previously applicable on prescribed services, and a plastic bag levy to promote the use of reusable bags. However, public procurement policies do not include environmental and green growth standards.

The legal code provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials, but corruption cases often proceeded slowly. In 2021, parliament enacted the “high court amendment” law that created a specialized court to enable specific judges and magistrates to preside over and speedily resolve anticorruption cases.

The Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) has broad powers of investigation, and public service announcements encouraging citizens to report corrupt government activities have had some effect on systemic corruption. However, in February 2023, the Fiji Elections Office submitted an official complaint to the Office of the President questioning the impartiality of FICAC in the case of the former Supervisor of Elections. Under the FijiFirst government, some observers viewed some of FICAC’s high-profile prosecutions as highly motivated. FICAC in collaboration with the United Nations Pacific Regional Anti-corruption agency (UN-PRAC) launched a nationwide anti-bribery campaign. However, Fiji’s relatively small population and limited circles of power often lead to personal relationships playing a major role in business and government decisions. Fiji acceded to the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2008.

Resources to Report Corruption


Contact at the government agency or agencies that are responsible for combating corruption:
Mr. Rashmi Aslam
Commissioner
Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC)
P.O. Box 2335, Government Buildings, Suva, FIJI
(679) 3310290
info@ficac.org.fj 

Contact at a “watchdog” organization:
Civic Leaders for Clean Transactions (CLCT) Integrity Fiji
60 Robertson Road, Suva
integrityfiji73@gmail.com 
www.facebook.com/civicleaders 

The country held general elections on December 14, 2022, and international observers deemed elections free, transparent, and credible. A coalition of the People’s Alliance Party, the National Federation Party, and the Social Democratic Liberal Party won control of parliament and Sitiveni Ligamamada Rabuka became prime minister. Civil unrest is uncommon but the Public Order Act restricts freedoms of speech, assembly, and movement to preserve public order. The Online Safety law may also restrict free speech in the digital space.

Labor market conditions at the end of 2021 improved with the lifting of travel restrictions and the reopening of international borders. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), an estimated 66 percent of the workforce was in the informal sector.

The ILO estimates that Fiji’s labor force in 2021 was 370,522, with a labor force participation rate of 75.09 percent for males and 37.78 percent for females. Education is compulsory until age 17, with male and female students in Fiji achieving largely the same level of education. Fiji continues to face acute labor shortages in a broad range of fields, including the medical, management, engineering, and financial sectors, and increasingly, competent trade-skilled people in the construction, electrical, and plumbing trades. Over 800 nurses resigned in 2022 from public hospitals. Fiji participates in the Australian Pacific Australia Labor Mobility (PALM) Scheme and New Zealand’s Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme. Fijians were employed in farms, meat works, hospital, accommodation, and aged care sectors. The Asian Development Bank estimated about 3300 were employed in labor schemes in Australia and New land in mid 2022.

The Ministry of Employment, Productivity, and Industrial Relations has responsibility for the administration of labor laws and the encouragement of good labor relations. The Employment Relations (Amendment) Act of 2016 restored the 2007 Employment Relations Promulgation (ERP) as the primary basis for the right of workers to join trade unions. Trade unions are independent of the government. The ERP prohibits forced labor, discrimination in employment based on ethnicity, gender, and other prohibited grounds, and stipulates equal remuneration for work of equal value. There are workplace safety laws and regulations, and safety standards apply equally to both citizens and foreign workers. The government raised the national minimum hourly wage rate to $1.80 (FJD$4) in January 2023.

The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) provides investment insurance in Fiji for qualified applicants, including political risk insurance and loans. The risks of currency convertibility are safeguarded under Fiji’s foreign exchange regulations. Fiji is a member of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency.

 

Table 2: Key Macroeconomic Data, U.S. FDI in Host Country/Economy
Host Country Statistical source* USG or international statistical source USG or International Source of Data:  BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other
Economic Data Year Amount Year Amount
Host Country Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ($M USD) 2021 $3,998.6 2021 $4,296.3 www.worldbank.org/en/country 
Foreign Direct Investment Host Country Statistical source* USG or international statistical source USG or international Source of data:  BEA; IMF; Eurostat; UNCTAD, Other
U.S. FDI in partner country ($M USD, stock positions) 2019 $109.39 2019 $0 BEA data available at https://apps.bea.gov/international/factsheet/
Host country’s FDI in the United States ($M USD, stock positions) 2020 $0 2020 $0 BEA data available at https://www.bea.gov/international/direct-investment-and-multinational-enterprises-comprehensive-data
Total inbound stock of FDI as % host GDP 2021 N/A 2021 126.9% UNCTAD data available at

https://unctad.org/topic/investment/world-investment-report   

* Source for Host Country Data: https://www.statsfiji.gov.fj/statistics/economic-statistics/balance-of-payments.html; Exchange Rate: USD $1 = FJD $2.22

Table 3: Sources and Destination of FDI
Direct Investment from/in Counterpart Economy Data
From Top Five Sources/To Top Five Destinations (US Dollars, Millions)
Inward Direct Investment (2019) Outward Direct Investment (2019)
Total Inward $5,171 100% Total Outward $54.5 100%
Australia $2,516 49% Data not available
Singapore $545 11%
Papua New Guinea $533 10%
France $376 7%
United Kingdom $247 5%
“0” reflects amounts rounded to +/- USD 500,000.

 


U.S. Embassy Suva
158 Princes Road, Tamavua, Suva
(679) 3314466
commercialsuva@state.gov 

On This Page

  1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  2. 1. Openness To, and Restrictions Upon, Foreign Investment
    1. Policies Towards Foreign Direct Investment
    2. Limits on Foreign Control and Right to Private Ownership and Establishment
    3. Other Investment Policy Reviews
    4. Business Facilitation
    5. Outward Investment
  3. 2. Bilateral Investment and Taxation Treaties
  4. 3. Legal Regime
    1. Transparency of the Regulatory System
    2. International Regulatory Considerations
    3. Legal System and Judicial Independence
    4. Laws and Regulations on Foreign Direct Investment
    5. Competition and Antitrust Laws
    6. Expropriation and Compensation
    7. Dispute Settlement
      1. ICSID Convention and New York Convention
      2. Investor-State Dispute Settlement
      3. International Commercial Arbitration and Foreign Courts
    8. Bankruptcy Regulations
  5. 4. Industrial Policies
    1. Investment Incentives
    2. Foreign Trade Zones/Free Ports/Trade Facilitation
    3. Performance and Data Localization Requirements
  6. 5. Protection of Property Rights
    1. Real Property
    2. Intellectual Property Rights
  7. 6. Financial Sector
    1. Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment
    2. Money and Banking System
    3. Foreign Exchange and Remittances
      1. Foreign Exchange
      2. Remittance Policies
    4. Sovereign Wealth Funds
  8. 7. State-Owned Enterprises
    1. Privatization Program
  9. 8. Responsible Business Conduct
    1. Additional Resources
    2. Climate Issues
  10. 9. Corruption
    1. Resources to Report Corruption
  11. 10. Political and Security Environment
  12. 11. Labor Policies and Practices
  13. 12. U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), and Other Investment Insurance or Development Finance Programs
  14. 13. Foreign Direct Investment Statistics
  15. 14. Contact for More Information
2023 Investment Climate Statements: Fiji
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