Fiji

source : World Fact Book 2008 (October 2008)

SEE UPDATED INFORMATION HERE

   Introduction    Fiji
Background:
Definition Field Listing Fiji became independent in 1970, after nearly a century as a British colony. Democratic rule was interrupted by two military coups in 1987, caused by concern over a government perceived as dominated by the Indian community (descendants of contract laborers brought to the islands by the British in the 19th century). The coups and a 1990 constitution that cemented native Melanesian control of Fiji, led to heavy Indian emigration; the population loss resulted in economic difficulties, but ensured that Melanesians became the majority. A new constitution enacted in 1997 was more equitable. Free and peaceful elections in 1999 resulted in a government led by an Indo-Fijian, but a civilian-led coup in May 2000 ushered in a prolonged period of political turmoil. Parliamentary elections held in August 2001 provided Fiji with a democratically elected government led by Prime Minister Laisenia QARASE. Re-elected in May 2006, QARASE was ousted in a December 2006 military coup led by Commodore Voreqe BAINIMARAMA, who initially appointed himself acting president. In January 2007, BAINIMARAMA was appointed interim prime minister.
   Geography    Fiji
Location:
Definition Field Listing Oceania, island group in the South Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing 18 00 S, 175 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing Oceania
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 18,270 sq km
land: 18,270 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing slightly smaller than New Jersey
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing 0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing 1,129 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing measured from claimed archipelagic straight baselines
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation; rectilinear shelf claim added
Climate:
Definition Field Listing tropical marine; only slight seasonal temperature variation
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing mostly mountains of volcanic origin
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Tomanivi 1,324 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing timber, fish, gold, copper, offshore oil potential, hydropower
Land use:
Definition Field Listing arable land: 10.95%
permanent crops: 4.65%
other: 84.4% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing 30 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
Definition Field Listing 28.6 cu km (1987)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Definition Field Listing total: 0.07 cu km/yr (14%/14%/71%)
per capita: 82 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing cyclonic storms can occur from November to January
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing deforestation; soil erosion
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing includes 332 islands; approximately 110 are inhabited
   People    Fiji
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 931,741 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing 0-14 years: 30.6% (male 145,430/female 139,498)
15-64 years: 64.8% (male 302,460/female 301,344)
65 years and over: 4.6% (male 19,413/female 23,596) (2008 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing total: 25.2 years
male: 24.7 years
female: 25.7 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing 1.388% (2008 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 22.15 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 5.66 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order -2.62 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female
total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 11.88 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 13.07 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 10.63 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total population: 70.44 years
male: 67.9 years
female: 73.1 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 2.68 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0.1% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 600 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order fewer than 200 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing noun: Fijian(s)
adjective: Fijian
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing Fijian 57.3% (predominantly Melanesian with a Polynesian admixture), Indian 37.6%, Rotuman 1.2%, other 3.9% (European, other Pacific Islanders, Chinese) (2007 census)
Religions:
Definition Field Listing Christian 53% (Methodist 34.5%, Roman Catholic 7.2%, Assembly of God 3.8%, Seventh Day Adventist 2.6%, other 4.9%), Hindu 34% (Sanatan 25%, Arya Samaj 1.2%, other 7.8%), Muslim 7% (Sunni 4.2%. other 2.8%), other or unspecified 5.6%, none 0.3% (1996 census)
Languages:
Definition Field Listing English (official), Fijian (official), Hindustani
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.7%
male: 95.5%
female: 91.9% (2003 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
Definition Field Listing total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 13 years (2005)
Education expenditures:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 6.5% of GDP (2004)
   Government    Fiji
Country name:
Definition Field Listing conventional long form: Republic of the Fiji Islands
conventional short form: Fiji
local long form: Republic of the Fiji Islands/Matanitu ko Viti
local short form: Fiji/Viti
Government type:
Definition Field Listing republic
Capital:
Definition Field Listing name: Suva (on Viti Levu)
geographic coordinates: 18 08 S, 178 25 E
time difference: UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing 4 divisions and 1 dependency*; Central, Eastern, Northern, Rotuma*, Western
Independence:
Definition Field Listing 10 October 1970 (from UK)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing Independence Day, second Monday of October (1970)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing enacted on 25 July 1997 to encourage multiculturalism and make multiparty government mandatory; effective 28 July 1998
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing based on British system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing 21 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing chief of state: President Ratu Josefa ILOILOVATU Uluivuda (since 18 July 2000); note - ILOILOVATU was reaffirmed as president by the Great Council of Chiefs in a statement issued on 22 December, and reappointed by the coup leader Commodore Voreqe BAINIMARAMA in January 2007
head of government: Prime Minister Laisenia QARASE (since 10 September 2000); note - although QARASE is still the legal prime minister, he has been confined to his home island; the president appointed Commodore Voreqe BAINIMARAMA interim prime minister under the military regime
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister from among the members of Parliament and is responsible to Parliament; note - coup leader Commodore Voreqe BAINIMARAMA has appointed an interim cabinet
elections: president elected by the Great Council of Chiefs for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); prime minister appointed by the president; election last held 8 March 2006
election results: Ratu Josefa ILOILOVATU Uluivuda elected president by the Great Council of Chiefs; percent of vote - NA
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (32 seats; 14 appointed by the president on the advice of the Great Council of Chiefs, 9 appointed by the president on the advice of the Prime Minister, 8 on the advice of the Opposition Leader, and 1 appointed on the advice of the council of Rotuma) and the House of Representatives (71 seats; 23 reserved for ethnic Fijians, 19 reserved for ethnic Indians, 3 reserved for other ethnic groups, 1 reserved for the council of Rotuma constituency encompassing the whole of Fiji, and 25 open seats; members serve five-year terms)
elections: House of Representatives - last held 6-13 May 2006 (next to be held in 2011)
election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - SDL 44.6%, FLP 39.2%, UPP 0.8%, independents 4.9%, other 10.5%; seats by party - SDL 36, FLP 31, UPP 2, independents 2
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president); Court of Appeal; High Court; Magistrates' Courts
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing Dodonu Ni Taukei Party or DNT [Fereti S. DEWA]; Fiji Democratic Party or FDP [Filipe BOLE] (a merger of the Christian Democrat Alliance or VLV [Poesci Waqalevu BUNE], Fijian Association Party or FAP, Fijian Political Party or SVT (primarily Fijian) [Sitiveni RABUKA], and New Labor Unity Party or NLUP [Ofa SWANN]); Fiji Labor Party or FLP [Mahendra CHAUDHRY]; General Voters Party or GVP (became part of United General Party); Girmit Heritage Party or GHP; Justice and Freedom Party or AIM; Lio 'On Famor Rotuma Party or LFR; National Federation Party or NFP (primarily Indian) [Pramond RAE]; Nationalist Vanua Takolavo Party or NVTLP [Saula TELAWA]; Party of National Unity or PANU [Ponipate LESAVUA]; Party of the Truth or POTT; United Fiji Party/Sogosogo Duavata ni Lewenivanua or SDL [Laisenia QARASE]; United Peoples Party or UPP [Millis Mick BEDDOES]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing Group Against Racial Discrimination or GARD [Dr. Anirudk SINGH] (for restoration of a democratic government); Viti Landowners Association
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing ACP, ADB, C (suspended), CP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, OPCW, PCA, PIF, Sparteca, SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIS, UNMIT, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing chief of mission: vacant; note - Penijamini R. LOMALOMA (Charge d'Affaires)
chancery: 2000 M Street, NW, Suite 710, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 466-8320
FAX: [1] (202) 466-8325
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing chief of mission: Ambassador Larry Miles DINGER
embassy: 31 Loftus Street, Suva
mailing address: P. O. Box 218, Suva
telephone: [679] 331-4466
FAX: [679] 330-0081
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing light blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Fijian shield centered on the outer half of the flag; the shield depicts a yellow lion above a white field quartered by the cross of Saint George featuring stalks of sugarcane, a palm tree, bananas, and a white dove
   Economy    Fiji
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing Fiji, endowed with forest, mineral, and fish resources, is one of the most developed of the Pacific island economies, though still with a large subsistence sector. Sugar exports, remittances from Fijians working abroad, and a growing tourist industry - with 400,000 to 500,000 tourists annually - are the major sources of foreign exchange. Fiji's sugar has special access to European Union markets, but will be harmed by the EU's decision to cut sugar subsidies. Sugar processing makes up one-third of industrial activity but is not efficient. Fiji's tourism industry was damaged by the December 2006 coup and is facing an uncertain recovery time. The coup has created a difficult business climate. Tourist arrivals for 2007 are estimated to be down almost 6%, with substantial job losses in the service sector. In July 2007 the Reserve Bank of Fiji announced the economy was expected to contract by 3.1% in 2007. Fiji's current account deficit reached 23% of GDP in 2006. The EU has suspended all aid until the interim government takes steps toward new elections. Long-term problems include low investment, uncertain land ownership rights, and the government's inability to manage its budget. Overseas remittances from Fijians working in Kuwait and Iraq have decreased significantly.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $5.079 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing $3.409 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order -4.4% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $3,900 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing agriculture: 8.9%
industry: 13.5%
services: 77.6% (2004 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 117,500 (2006 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing agriculture: 70%
industry and services: 30% (2001 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 7.6% (1999)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing 25.5% (FY90/91)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 4.8% (2007)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing revenues: $1.363 billion
expenditures: $1.376 billion (2006)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing sugarcane, coconuts, cassava (tapioca), rice, sweet potatoes, bananas; cattle, pigs, horses, goats; fish
Industries:
Definition Field Listing tourism, sugar, clothing, copra, gold, silver, lumber, small cottage industries
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order NA%
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 1.046 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 735.6 million kWh (2006)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing 0 kWh (2005)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 9,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 2,268 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 10,870 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order -$507 million (2007 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $1.202 billion f.o.b. (2006)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing sugar, garments, gold, timber, fish, molasses, coconut oil
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing US 16.9%, UK 11.1%, Australia 10.8%, Samoa 5.3%, Tonga 4.6%, NZ 4.4% (2007)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $3.12 billion c.i.f. (2006)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, petroleum products, food, chemicals
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing Singapore 29.6%, Australia 21.6%, NZ 17.3%, China 4.4% (2007)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing $63.96 million (2005)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $127 million (2004 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $NA
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $NA
Market value of publicly traded shares:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $586.7 million (2005)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing Fijian dollar (FJD)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing Fijian dollars per US dollar - NA (2007), 1.7313 (2006), 1.691 (2005), 1.7331 (2004), 1.8958 (2003)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing calendar year
   Communications    Fiji
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 108,400 (2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 437,000 (2007)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing general assessment: modern local, interisland, and international (wire/radio integrated) public and special-purpose telephone, telegraph, and teleprinter facilities; regional radio communications center
domestic: telephone or radio telephone links to almost all inhabited islands; most towns and large villages have automatic telephone exchanges and direct dialing; combined fixed and mobile-cellular density is about 60 per 100 persons
international: country code - 679; access to important cable links between US and Canada as well as between NZ and Australia; satellite earth stations - 2 Inmarsat (Pacific Ocean) (2007)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing AM 13, FM 40, shortwave 0 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing NA
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing .fj
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 12,137 (2007)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 80,000 (2006)
   Transportation    Fiji
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 28 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing total: 3
over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing total: 25
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 18 (2007)
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 597 km
narrow gauge: 597 km 0.600-m gauge
note: belongs to the government-owned Fiji Sugar Corporation; used to haul sugarcane during harvest season (May to December) (2006)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 3,440 km
paved: 1,692 km
unpaved: 1,748 km (2000)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 203 km
note: 122 km navigable by motorized craft and 200-metric-ton barges (2006)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 8 ships (1000 GRT or over) 17,376 GRT/8,788 DWT
by type: passenger 3, passenger/cargo 3, roll on/roll off 2
foreign-owned: 1 (Australia 1) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing Lautoka, Suva
   Military    Fiji
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF): Land Forces, Naval Forces (2008)
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing 18 years of age for voluntary military service; reserve obligation to age 45 (2006)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing males age 16-49: 242,567
females age 16-49: 238,556 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing males age 16-49: 189,282
females age 16-49: 202,350 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Definition Field Listing male: 9,077
female: 8,728 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 2.2% of GDP (2005 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Fiji
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing none
Trafficking in persons:
Definition Field Listing current situation: Fiji is a source country for children trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation and a destination country for a small number of women from China and India trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation
tier rating: Tier 3 - Fiji does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government has demonstrated no action to investigate or prosecute traffickers, assist victims, take steps to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts, or support any anti-trafficking information or education campaigns; Fiji has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol (2008)



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Source : CIA's World Fact Book 2008

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