The Investment Drought

With the investment drought gripping Fiji, the Fiji Trade and Investment Board has never been more important. But what hope has it got with the antics of its chairman Francis Narayan.

His latest act of genius is to threaten to cancel the projects that have been approved but not started. Does he expect that investors who have shown understandable caution will suddenly throw caution to the wind and get in before it’s too late? The mere making of the threat confirms that Fiji is no place to invest while we still have an Illegal regime in place.

A career spent handling other people’s money in the ADB has given Francis a very poor sense of the way investors think about their own money. It may surprise him, but they think about their money in roughly the same way he thinks about his. They work hard to get it and they think carefully about how safe it is.

In June this year Francis made a speech at the Fiji Institute of Accountants Annual Congress. The highlight of this was an admission that investment as a percentage of GDP reached an all time low of 15 percent in 2007. And that was when GDP was shrinking. But don’t expect 2008 to be any better.

Francis’s speech is on the FTIB web-site, reprinted with all his speaking notes still included in the text. It’s got some gems such as “quote statistics”, “refer to examples” etc. The only thing missing is “make a joke” after he quotes the devastating statistic on the low level of investment.

We can give Francis credit for one thing: he has given himself a year to turn Fiji’s investment situation around. That year will be up in December. It’s a pity that the Illegal Regime for which he works has not set such a specific target for any of its alleged goals.



8 Responses to “The Investment Drought”

  1. Mark Manning Says:

    After 20 years of coups , who in their right mind would even give Fiji a second glance now regarding investment .
    Even the Chinese and Indians would think twice !

  2. NobleBannerBlue Says:

    When the Finance Minister wont keep his money invested in his own country – that shows confidence 4 u

  3. Wailei Says:

    hahaha truz up @ NBB. Even most business people in Fiji have accounts overseas. qai cakatale va what?

  4. FijiGirl Says:

    Here’s an illuminating contrast is the approach of our legitimately elected government and the coup-coupsters to matters of national importance.

    Under our elected PM, we had appropriately qualified Ministers looking after portfolio’s in which they had proper expertise. Under this regime we’ve got ‘Jobs For the Boys (and Grrlz)’.

    Our elected PM realised there were lots of people working for cash in hand, not declaring income or paying income tax, but paying tax in VAT. They spent much of the money they earned, and some even managed to save money, which was good for the economy. Our elected govt was working to improve investment in education and create economic stablity so self-employed people could earn enough money to make it worthwhile to declare income, enjoy tax advantages but also account for their businesses.

    Under this regime, Lick Rump Vagyna wants all non-registered self-employed people to be shut down by their local councils, because they don’t pay tax.

    Under our elected govt, FTIB examined Fiji’s comparative and competitive advantages and strove to ‘work it’ to attract, gee, trade and investment. Under this regime, Franny threatens to cancel projects, as though this will attract investors to happily jump in with both feet. (In what dimension does that tactic EVER work for investors? ‘Cause it sure as heck ain’t this one…)

    Which approach is better for Fiji?

    God bless Fiji

  5. Adi Kaila Says:

    Vinaka Fiji Girl – I have been telling this on this site and I am glad you’ve bought it up again.

    The ig cannot compare oranges to lemons or make oranges from lemons.

    The level of corruption going on with the ig coupsters is unprecedented and none of them have the capacity to lead or take the Nation forward toward a more sustainable economy.

  6. Striker Says:

    Why give Francis Narayan credit? Not too long ago, FEA had taken an overseas loan for the Monasavu hydro project. Francis was an accountant at FEA at the time and he failed to advise it against the effects of changes in currency rates. The result? FEA became bankrupt and Govt , i.e we taxpayers have to pay through our noses to rescue FEA from bankruptcy. If the Investment Board carries on in his leadership, history will be repeating itself all because of these useless, self-serving, wannabe morally bankrupt consultants!

  7. lauan boy Says:

    SV…from what ‘striker’ has disclosed…..ppl we need more meat to grease this arsehole whose now chairman of FTIB.

    we need his history exposed for all to see his incompetence…..research ppl.

  8. Always 4 Fiji Says:

    @ Striker…You are quite right about the financial mess that Francis Narayan created at the FEA when he was Accountant due to his negligence and lack of professional foresight in relation foreign currency exchange rates. Francis only talks about his recent term at the Asian Development Bank but never refers to his time with FEA, fervently hoping that no one remembers the huge financial burden he created. His recent decision to cancel those investment projects that have been approved by FTIB is yet another example of lack of professional appreciation of conducive investment environment and the investor’s economic way of thinking. Francis will surely repeat what he did at the FEA during his current term as Chairman of the FTIB. He and John Samy are in the same con boat.

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