Why Fiji is not the ÒMauritiusÓ of the Pacific? Lessons for Small Island Nations in the Pacific
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, FijiÕs 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, FijiÕs 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.
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