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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 2000 ushered in a prolonged period of political turmoil. Parliamentary elections held in 2001 provided Fiji with a democratically elected government led by Prime Minister Laisenia QARASE. Reelected in May 2006, QARASE was ousted in a December 2006 military coup led by Commodore Voreqe BAINIMARAMA, who initially appointed himself acting president but in January 2007 became interim prime minister. Following years of political turmoil, long-delayed legislative elections were held in September 2014 that were deemed "credible" by international observers and that resulted in BAINIMARAMA being reelected.


Oceania, island group in the South Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand

Natural Resources

timber, fish, gold, copper, offshore oil potential, hydropower

Population - distribution

English (official), Fijian (official), Hindustani
SUVA (capital) 176,000 (2014)
Conventional long form
Republic of Fiji
Conventional short form
Local long form
Republic of Fiji/Matanitu ko Viti
Local short form
parliamentary republic
Geographic coordinates
18 08 S, 178 25 E
Time difference
UTC+12 (17 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time
+1hr, begins first Sunday in November; ends second Sunday in January
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Fiji, endowed with forest, mineral, and fish resources, is one of the most developed and connected of the Pacific island economies. Earnings from the tourism industry, with an estimated 792,300 tourists visiting in 2016, and remittances from Fijian’s working abroad are the country’s largest foreign exchange earners.
External debt stocks
US$ 871,282,000
Total tax rate (% of commercial profits)
Real Interest Rate
Manufacturing, value added (% of GDP)
Current Account Balance
US$ -72,423,604
Labor Force, Total
Employment in Agriculture
Employment in Industry
Employment in Services
Unemployment Rate
Imports of goods and services
US$ 2,557,656,645
Exports of goods and services
US$ 2,274,955,734
Total Merchandise Trade
FDI, net inflows
US$ 307,878,424
Commercial Service Exports
US$ 1,173,101,102
sugarcane, coconuts, cassava (manioc, tapioca), rice, sweet potatoes, bananas; cattle, pigs, horses, goats; fish
tourism, sugar processing, clothing, copra, gold, silver, lumber, small cottage industries
sugar, garments, gold, timber, fish, molasses, coconut oil, mineral water
US 13.4%, Australia 10.2%, Samoa 6.7%, Tonga 5.9% (2015)
manufactured goods, machinery and transport equipment, petroleum products, food, chemicals
China 16.1%, South Korea 15.7%, NZ 14.2%, Australia 13.4%, Singapore 8.7%, France 7% (2015)
Country Risk Rating
Business Climate Rating

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