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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Remittances to Fiji up?

David Evans, the outgoing Chief Manager for Westpac in Fiji, says that remittances to Fiji from former residents living overseas or Fiji residents working abroad has gone up over the last few months.

He has put a figure of F$400 million on the amount of remittances coming in. However, with no concrete method of ascertaining the real figure, we do not really know what it is.

With current pressures on liquidity in the financial system, if the magnitude of funds proposed had really come in, one would not be experiencing very low liquidity in the financial system as we have at present.

Generally, one would wish that such funds are being put to efficient and effective economic purposes rather than being spent on consumption.

The Reserve Bank of Fiji had, last year, said that it was conducting a study to analyse the growth in remittances to Fiji and to see how these funds are being utilised.

I am looking forward to the study by the Reserve Bank of Fiji (if it has been done?).

Read the article from today on the observation by David Evans below.

"Remittances to Fiji up: Westpac boss

Outgoing Westpac Fiji chief manager David Evans says remittances to the country are increasing with the bank seeing an upsurge in this area in the last three months.

And while he says it is hard to get exact figures of remittances to Fiji, he puts current estimates to be about $400 million a year.

According to him, in the last three months Westpac has seen a significant increase in inward remittances. He believes that people are supporting families here and sending more money back.

"If people have lost their job for whatever reason they are sending more money back into the country. "So there certainly has been a lift in the last few months of money coming back in," he said. "It is good. It is coming in and is helping the economy. It's keeping things going so we want to keep it going."

However, he says the challenge with remittances is "how to get that money to stick as far as people saving it or investing it wisely and not running out and buying a big TV or whatever."

Evans says he sees it in the bank that money comes in through the Moneygram (Westpac's money exchange facility) and goes straight out through the door and to the retail outlets.

He says the bank is working very hard with various products to try and get people to save for the future.

"We are currently running a campaign around a bonus saver product to try and encourage people to save their money and think of the future.

"For the whole community one of our challenges is to get people to save. It is a cultural thing and it is an education thing and it takes a while," Evans said."

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At 12:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with these bankers is that they comment too quickly without thinking. If such magnitude of funds $400m have come into the system, there would be high liquidity. But in this case , no. One wonders where did Mr Evans got his facts from.


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