Country Profiles



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 May 2000 ushered in a prolonged period of political turmoil. Parliamentary elections held in August 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. Since taking power BAINIMARAMA has neutralized his opponents, crippled Fiji's democratic institutions, and initially refused to hold elections. In 2012, he promised to hold elections in 2014.



Official Languages           

English, Fijian, Fiji Hindi


Fijian Dollar (FJD)



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


Total: 18,274 Sq km Land: 18, 274 sq km Water: 0 sq km


Tropical oceanic; moderated by trade winds; a dry season from April to November and a more humid season from December to March

Natural resources

Timber, Fish, Gold, Copper, Offshore oil potential, Hydropower

Land use

Agricultural land: 23.3% (Arable Land 9%; Permanent crops 4.7%; Permanent Pasture 9.6%)

Forest: 55.7% , Other: 21% (2011 est.)



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 692,630 tourists visiting in 2014, and remittances from Fijian’s working abroad are the country’s largest foreign exchange earners. Fiji's sugar remains a significant industry and a major export. The sugar industry reforms since 2010 have improved productivity and returns, but the industry faces the complete withdrawal of European Union preferential prices by 2017. Fiji’s trade imbalance continues to widen with increased imports and sluggish performance of domestic exports. The return to parliamentary democracy and successful elections in September 2014 have boosted investor confidence. Private sector investment in 2014 reached 15% of GDP, compared to 13% in 2013.

Agriculture Products

Sugarcane, Coconut, Cassava (Manioc, Tapioca), Rice, Sweet Potatoes, Bananas; Cattle, Pigs, Horses, Goats; Fish


Tourism, Sugar, Clothing, Copra, Gold, Silver, Lumber, Small Cottage Industries

Exports Commodities

Sugar, Garments, Gold, Timber, Fish, Molasses, Coconut Oil

Imports Commodities

Manufactured Goods, Machinery And Transport Equipment, Petroleum Products, Food, Chemicals

Useful Links

Govt of Fiji

Ministry of Industry & Trade and Tourism

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Ministry of Health and Medical Services

Ministry of Agriculture