Revenue available to service debt -A-G

Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum speaking in Parliament on Monday, April 4, 2022. Picture: PARLIAMENT OF FIJI

Fiji has over 10 times more revenue available to service its debt, says Economy Minister and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

He made the comment in Parliament last week in response to an oral questions asked to him by the Assistant Minister for iTaukei Affairs Selai Adimaitoga.

Ms Adimaitoga in her oral questions asked Mr Sayed-Khaiyum to inform Parliament on why Fiji’s debt remains sustainable and cannot be compared with the Sri Lankan crisis.

In response, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum Sri Lanka does not have adequate foreign reserves available in the country.

“It has $7 billion due in an external debt repayments alone but only had $2 billion in foreign exchange, $7 billion to pay offshore but only $2 billion,” he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Fiji’s external debt repayments on average were just around $100 million annually and that the country has $3 billion available in foreign reserves.

“This is 30 times more than what is needed for external debt repayments, number one.

“Our current revenues are over $3 billion and debt servicing is just over $350 million. For Fiji to be able to not service our debt, our revenue will have to fall to below $300 million.

“Even during COVID-19, Mr Speaker, sir, which was a one-in-a-hundred-year event, we managed to maintain revenues at around $2 billion.

“This basically shows, Mr Speaker, sir, why Fiji has never defaulted on debt and why we will never default on debt.

“Sri Lanka’s revenue situation is completely different. Simply, it is too low and cannot be compared to Fiji.”

More Stories