Fiji Geopolitics

Fiji is an island state in the South Pacific Ocean, with its capital city Suva, consisting of about 320 islands. The F Islands were discovered in 1643 by the Dutch navigator A. Tasman and later explored by the English Cook and Bligh; they became an English colony in 1874. The first white settlers were the deportees from Sydney; at the end of the nineteenth century many Indians were transferred there to work on the sugar cane plantations. The population of Indian origin, which became prevalent, was a supporter of independence, obtained in 1970 within the Commonwealth. After the 1987 coup, discriminatory policies led many Indians to leave the state. After the approval of the new Constitution (1997), successive attempts at multi-ethnic coalition governments were thwarted by coups d’├ętat (2000, 2006).

According to LOCALBUSINESSEXPLORER, Fiji is an archipelago of Oceania comprising 332 islands, one third of which are inhabited on a permanent basis. Three quarters of the population lives on the main island, Viti Levu. The country, independent since 1970, has suffered a series of coups. The civilian and military authorities of Fiji have repeatedly suspended, reformed or repealed the Constitution, until the temporary abandonment of the British Commonwealth (1987-97). The latest coup dates back to December 2006, when Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama first assumed the office of President of the Republic and then Prime Minister of an interim government, effectively establishing a military regime.

Internal instability is mainly due to the ethnic composition of the population, 57% indigenous and 38% of Indian descent. This division is decisively reflected in the political system: the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SDLP), born from the dissolution of the United Fiji Party, protects the interests of the natives, while Fiji First, successor of the Labor Party, represents the residents of Indian origin.. Since independence, the natives have conquered political hegemony, relying on the then limited demographic majority and control of the military apparatus. The current preponderant majority of natives is the result of the progressive emigration of the population of Indian descent, which – on average richer and predominant in the commercial sector,

Following the establishment of the military junta, Fiji has experienced growing international isolation. Participation in the Commonwealth has been suspended (partially in 2006 and totally since 2009) and the same has happened for participation in the Pacific Islands Forum. Australia and New Zealand, after initially attempting to stimulate the return to democracy with a strategy of economic and political pressure, opted for re-engagement in 2012, re-establishing diplomatic relations and trying to trigger reforms through an institutional assistance policy. Among the reasons that led Canberra and Wellington to reconnect with Fiji is the announcement by Bainimarama of a new Constitution by 2013 and new elections – repeatedly postponed – for September 2014, in which the leader was once again imposed. of Fiji First with 59% of the vote. However, strong doubts remain on the actual freedom of the last vote, as well as on the authoritarian conduct of Bainimarama.

Although Fiji’s economy is quantitatively small, GDP per capita is the highest in Oceania ($ 5,254). Widespread corruption is a brake on development and the latest coup has had a very negative impact on the national economy. The flow of tourists has significantly decreased and the already declining sugar industry – which supports almost a quarter of the economy – has suffered the backlash of the loss of commercial benefits previously granted by the European Union. The flow of tourists, however, began to grow again in 2010 and with it the GDP, whose growth, for 2014, was 3.8%. In 2014, an agreement was also reached for the implementation of the partnership treatyeconomic with the EU, concluded in 2007, resolving a long dispute over the export quotas of cane sugar from the islands.

Fiji Geopolitics