Foreign Trade in Figures
Foreign trade plays a significant role in Fiji’s economy, accounting for around 72% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Fiji has relatively low customs duties, with an average applied tariff rate of approximately 16.6%, but non-tariff barriers remain a hindrance to foreign trade, such as restrictions on import licenses, various import taxes, and tax incentives for local exporters.
In terms of exports, Fiji mainly exports petroleum oils, water, frozen fish, and gold. Meanwhile, imports are dominated by petroleum oils, powered aircraft, electrical apparatus, and motor vehicles. Fiji’s major import partners include Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, China, and the United States. At the same time, its main export destinations are the United States, Australia, New Zealand, China, and Vanuatu.
To increase the level of exports, Fiji’s government has launched the National Export Strategy (NES). Despite this, the country has a structural trade deficit, which has been increasing in recent years. In 2021, the trade deficit amounted to USD 2,635.4 million, up from USD 1,961.3 million in the previous year. The provisional data from the Bureau of Statistics shows that in 2021, the total value of imports and exports increased by 19.5% and 3.2%, respectively.
Foreign Trade Indicators
In terms of foreign trade, Fiji experienced some fluctuations in recent years. In 2021, the country’s foreign trade accounted for 82% of its GDP, as compared to 72% in 2020 (World Bank). The country saw an increase in both imports and exports, with total imports of goods amounting to USD 2,116 million and exports of goods reaching USD 815 million in 2021.
Looking at the past few years, Fiji’s imports of goods stood at USD 2,420 million in 2017 and increased to USD 2,720 million in 2018, before slightly decreasing to USD 2,734 million in 2019. However, in 2020, the country experienced a significant drop in imports of goods, reaching only USD 1,732 million. This trend reversed in 2021, with imports of goods increasing to USD 2,116 million.
In terms of exports of goods, Fiji saw an increase from USD 956 million in 2017 to USD 1,041 million in 2018, before slightly decreasing to USD 1,033 million in 2019. In 2020, the country experienced a significant drop in exports of goods, reaching only USD 828 million, and in 2021, exports of goods decreased further to USD 815 million.
Fiji’s imports and exports of services also experienced fluctuations in recent years. Imports of services amounted to USD 637 million in 2017 and increased to USD 719 million in 2018, before further increasing to USD 778 million in 2019. However, in 2020, imports of services dropped to USD 480 million, and in 2021, increased slightly to USD 509 million.
On the other hand, Fiji’s exports of services showed an increasing trend from USD 1,377 million in 2017 to USD 1,539 million in 2018, before slightly decreasing to USD 1,510 million in 2019. However, in 2020, exports of services significantly dropped to USD 342 million, and in 2021, decreased further to USD 284 million.
In terms of trade balance, Fiji has experienced a deficit in recent years, with a negative trade balance of USD 947 million in 2021, as compared to USD 660 million in 2020. The country’s imports of goods and services accounted for 55% of its GDP in 2021, while exports of goods and services accounted for 27% of its GDP.
Main Partner Countries
Fiji’s main partner countries for exports in 2021 were the United States (20.5%), Australia (16.5%), and New Zealand (8.2%), according to Comtrade. The main customers for Fiji’s exports were Tonga (5.8%) and China (5.7%). Other countries accounted for 43.3% of Fiji’s exports.
On the other hand, Fiji’s main suppliers for imports in 2021 were Singapore (17.1%), Australia (16.9%), and China (15.0%), with New Zealand (14.8%) and the United States (10.6%) following closely. Other countries represented 25.6% of Fiji’s imports.
These statistics show that Fiji has strong trade relationships with its neighboring countries as well as the United States and China. However, the country’s high dependence on imports contributes to its structural trade deficit.
Products exported in 2021 for 0.8 billion USD
Waters, include mineral waters that are man-made or natural…
Waters, including aerated and mineral waters that are not sweetened with additional sugar or other sweeteners or flavourings; ice; and snow
Oils derived from bituminous materials and petroleum oils…
Petroleum oils and oils derived from bituminous minerals (excluding crude); preparations that contain at least 70% by weight of petroleum oils or oils derived from bituminous minerals, with these oils serving as the preparations’ primary constituents (n.e.s.); waste oils that primarily contain bituminous minerals or petroleum
Fish fillets and other fish products are not included in the 10.6% of frozen fish (excl. fish fillets and other fish meat of heading 0304)
7.5% Gold, including unwrought gold plating over platinum…
Gold, including gold coated with platinum, that has not been further worked
Unwrought or not further processed than semi-manufactured gold, including gold plated with platinum, or gold that is in powder form
Burning wood in the form of logs, billets, twigs, faggots, or…
Fuel wood in the form of logs, billets, twigs, faggots, or similar objects; wood in the form of chips or particles; sawdust and wood waste and scrap, whether or not consolidated into logs, briquettes, pellets, or other objects; and
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Imported goods worth 2.1 billion USD in 2021
Petroleum oils and oils derived from bituminous minerals (excluding crude); preparations containing greater than 70% by weight of petroleum oils or oils derived from bituminous minerals, these oils serving as the primary constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils primarily made up of petroleum or bituminous minerals
Helicopters and other powered aircraft
Helicopters and aeroplanes are examples of powered aircraft…
powered aircraft, including “helicopters and aeroplanes,” as well as satellites, suborbital launchers, and spaceships
Other apparatus for the transmission or reception of voice, images, or other data, including apparatus for communication in a wired or wireless network [such as a local or wide area network], telephone sets, including telephones for cellular networks or for other wireless networks, and parts thereof (excl. than transmission or reception apparatus of heading 8443, 8525, 8527 or 8528)
Mealy and wheat
Tools and appliances used in medical, surgical, dental, or veterinary sciences, including sight-testing instruments, other electro-medical devices, and scintigraphic equipment, n.e.s.
More Products 70.3%