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Fiji (2008)

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Fiji 2008 year

Administrative divisions 4 divisions and 1 dependency*; Central, Eastern, Northern, Rotuma*, Western
Age structure 0-14 years: 30.9% (male 144,665/female 138,816)

15-64 years: 64.7% (male 297,709/female 296,897)

65 years and over: 4.4% (male 18,397/female 22,191) (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products sugarcane, coconuts, cassava (tapioca), rice, sweet potatoes, bananas; cattle, pigs, horses, goats; fish
Airports 28 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways 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 total: 25

914 to 1,523 m: 7

under 914 m: 18 (2007)
Area total: 18,270 sq km

land: 18,270 sq km

water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative slightly smaller than New Jersey
Background 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.
Birth rate 22.37 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Budget revenues: $720.5 million

expenditures: $728.3 million (2005)
Capital 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)
Climate tropical marine; only slight seasonal temperature variation
Coastline 1,129 km
Constitution enacted on 25 July 1997 to encourage multiculturalism and make multiparty government mandatory; effective 28 July 1998
Country name 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
Death rate 5.66 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Debt - external $127 million (2004 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US 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
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Penijamini R. LOMALOMA

chancery: 2000 M Street, NW, Suite 710, Washington, DC 20036

telephone: [1] (202) 466-8320

FAX: [1] (202) 466-8325
Disputes - international none
Economic aid - recipient $63.96 million (2005)
Economy - overview 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 300,000 to 400,000 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 increased significantly.
Electricity - consumption 972.8 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2005)
Electricity - production 1.046 billion kWh (2005)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point: Tomanivi 1,324 m
Environment - current issues deforestation; soil erosion
Environment - international agreements 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
Ethnic groups Fijian 54.8% (predominantly Melanesian with a Polynesian admixture), Indian 37.4%, other 7.9% (European, other Pacific Islanders, Chinese) (2005 estimate)
Exchange rates Fijian dollars per US dollar - NA (2007), 1.7313 (2006), 1.691 (2005), 1.7331 (2004), 1.8958 (2003)
Executive branch 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
Exports 0 kWh (2005)
Exports $934 million f.o.b. (2006)
Exports 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Exports 2,268 bbl/day (2004)
Exports - commodities sugar, garments, gold, timber, fish, molasses, coconut oil
Exports - partners US 16.8%, Australia 13.9%, UK 13.5%, Japan 5.3%, Samoa 4.7%, Tonga 4.1% (2006)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description 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
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 8.9%

industry: 13.5%

services: 77.6% (2004 est.)
GDP - real growth rate -3.1% (2007 est.)
Geographic coordinates 18 00 S, 175 00 E
Geography - note includes 332 islands; approximately 110 are inhabited
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%
Imports 0 kWh (2005)
Imports $1.595 billion c.i.f. (2006)
Imports 0 cu m (2005)
Imports 10,870 bbl/day (2004)
Imports - commodities manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, petroleum products, food, chemicals
Imports - partners Singapore 28.8%, Australia 23.3%, NZ 16.8%, China 4.7% (2006)
Independence 10 October 1970 (from UK)
Industrial production growth rate NA%
Industries tourism, sugar, clothing, copra, gold, silver, lumber, small cottage industries
Infant mortality rate total: 11.99 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 13.3 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 10.61 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 3% (2005)
International organization participation 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
Irrigated land 30 sq km (2003)
Judicial branch Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president); Court of Appeal; High Court; Magistrates' Courts
Labor force 137,000 (1999)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture: 70%

industry and services: 30% (2001 est.)
Land boundaries 0 km
Land use arable land: 10.95%

permanent crops: 4.65%

other: 84.4% (2005)
Languages English (official), Fijian (official), Hindustani
Legal system based on British system
Legislative branch 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
Life expectancy at birth total population: 70.12 years

male: 67.6 years

female: 72.76 years (2007 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 93.7%

male: 95.5%

female: 91.9% (2003 est.)
Location Oceania, island group in the South Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand
Map references Oceania
Maritime claims 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
Merchant marine 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) (2007)
Military branches Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF): Land Forces, Naval Forces (2008)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 2.2% (2005 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, second Monday of October (1970)
Nationality noun: Fijian(s)

adjective: Fijian
Natural hazards cyclonic storms can occur from November to January
Natural resources timber, fish, gold, copper, offshore oil potential, hydropower
Net migration rate -2.78 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Political parties and leaders 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 NA
Population 918,675 (July 2007 est.)
Population below poverty line 25.5% (FY90/91)
Population growth rate 1.394% (2007 est.)
Radio broadcast stations AM 13, FM 40, shortwave 0 (1998)
Railways 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)
Religions 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)
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.042 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.003 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.829 male(s)/female

total population: 1.006 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Suffrage 21 years of age; universal
Telephone system 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 35 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)
Telephones - main lines in use 112,500 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular 205,000 (2005)
Television broadcast stations NA
Terrain mostly mountains of volcanic origin
Total fertility rate 2.7 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate 7.6% (1999)
Waterways 203 km

note: 122 km navigable by motorized craft and 200-metric-ton barges (2006)
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