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Fiji's relative global economic development - Essay Example
Fiji is a group of islands with a total land mass of 18,270 sq km in the south Pacific Ocean spanning over 700,000 sq km, about two third of the distance from Hawaii to New Zealand. It is a relatively young country, having gained independence from being a British colony in 1970…
Till the 1980s, the descendants of Indian laborers that the British had brought on the islands dominated the country. Since 1987, the islands have faced a number of military coups that have disrupted attempts to form a democracy. The 1990 constitution of Fiji strengthened the powers of the native Melanesian community over the political scenario although an amendment in 1997 gave equal powers to the Indians and the natives. However, political turmoil has continued in the islands resulting in disturbances in the economic activities of the population and trade relations with the rest of the world (CIA).
Fiji had an estimated population of 918,675 in 2007, of which 30.9 percent is below 15 years of age, 64.7 percent between 15 and 64 years and 4.4 percent above 64 years (CIA). 54.8 percent of the population are native Fijians, mostly Melanesian and Polynesian mix, 37.4 percent Indians and the remaining 7.9 percent others comprising of Europeans, other Pacific islanders and Chinese. About 92 percent of the Fijian population is literate (Bank of Hawaii, 1998).
Fiji is richly endowed with natural resources, with forest, fish and mineral assets and is among the most developed among the Pacific Ocean islands. Yet, the economy of Fiji is still dependent on revenues from sugar export, tourism and remittances from Fijians abroad. ...