Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama visited the Golden Temple in Punjab during his recent trip to India. He said during his trip he wished for better relations between Fiji and India. The media in India has highlighted that Bainimarama who is the Vice Chair of International Sugar Organisation sought blessings at the Holy Shrine and stated that India had played an instrumental role in Fiji’s development.
Bainimarama then attended the Asian Development Bank meeting in the Philippines.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB), like any other development partner for Fiji, will closely monitor the progress and development in the country.
The bank’s president, Haruhiko Kuroda, during a bilateral meeting with Mr Bainimarama called for a full engagement with Fiji “sooner than later”.
Mr Bainimarama, who is also the Minister for Finance, had provided the ADB president an update on the political and socio-economic developments that are currently going on in Fiji.
He also told Mr Kuroda the many challenges facing the Fijian economy including the impacts of the floods in January and March, this year.
The ADB had provided the Fijian Government $1 million in April and in addition to this, the Prime Minister acknowledged the US$2m provided by the bank to assist with flood rehabilitation work.
With all eyes on Fiji in the lead-up to the 2014 general elections, Commodore Bainimarama high lighted the electoral reforms that are undertaken as the country moves towards the general elections and the steps taken to formulate the new Constitution.
He also emphasised that the ADB should remain apolitical and focus on its mandate to support socio-economic development rather than being politicised by some of its member countries.
Mr Kuroda thanked the Fijian leader for the update on the political front and socio-economic developments in Fiji. The ADB is a multilateral financial institution aimed at reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific.