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The political power of the Indians increased within the very limited self-government allowed by the British, who incidentally sided with the Fijians (the famous divide and rule policy). World War II passed Fiji by, although the colony did provide troops for the battle in the Solomon Islands. The 1960s saw the first racial conflicts as separatist Indians, who felt discriminated against, clashed with law-abiding Fijians (only eligible to vote since 1963). On 10 October 1970, Fiji gained independence, under the British Crown and within the Commonwealth.

For the current political situation see the history section.


The figures indicate a slowly growing economic potential for the islands. Of the export products, cane sugar takes up 15 per cent. It is still the Indians who work the plantations. The owner is the state-owned Fiji Sugar Corporation. Leaning on such a fragile pillar (largely dependent on the price policy of the EU, for example) forces the government to look for alternatives. The timber industry (softwood and mahogany) offers some alternative and perhaps further growth in tourism can help improve the balance of payments. Economic growth in 2017 is at the 3% mark, but 30% of the population lives below the poverty line. GDP is $9,800 per capita per year (2017).

The main trading partners are Australia and Great Britain.



Elmar landeninformatie

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2024
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