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  • [Country flag of Fiji]

    Fiji

    [Country map of Fiji]

    Geography

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

    Geographic coordinates: 18 00 S, 175 00 E

    Map references: Oceania

    Area:
    total: 18,270 sq km
    land: 18,270 sq km
    water: 0 sq km

    Area - comparative: slightly smaller than New Jersey

    Land boundaries: 0 km

    Coastline: 1,129 km

    Maritime claims: measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
    continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation; rectilinear shelf claim added
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    territorial sea : 12 nm

    Climate: tropical marine; only slight seasonal temperature variation

    Terrain: mostly mountains of volcanic origin

    Elevation extremes:
    lowest point : Pacific Ocean 0 m
    highest point: Tomanivi 1,324 m

    Natural resources: timber, fish, gold, copper, offshore oil potential

    Land use:
    arable land : 10%
    permanent crops: 4%
    permanent pastures: 10%
    forests and woodland: 65%
    other : 11% (1993 est.)

    Irrigated land: 10 sq km (1993 est.)

    Natural hazards: cyclonic storms can occur from November to January

    Environment - current issues: deforestation; soil erosion

    Environment - international agreements:
    party to : Biodiversity, Climate Change, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

    Geography - note: includes 332 islands of which approximately 110 are inhabited

    People

    Population: 792,441 (July 1997 est.)

    Age structure:
    0-14 years: 35% (male 140,685; female 135,044)
    15-64 years: 62% (male 246,128; female 246,001)
    65 years and over : 3% (male 11,620; female 12,963) (July 1997 est.)

    Population growth rate: 1.28% (1997 est.)

    Birth rate: 23.12 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)

    Death rate: 6.3 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)

    Net migration rate: -4.07 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)

    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    under 15 years : 1.04 male(s)/female
    15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.9 male(s)/female
    total population: 1.01 male(s)/female (1997 est.)

    Infant mortality rate: 17 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)

    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 66 years
    male: 63.66 years
    female : 68.46 years (1997 est.)

    Total fertility rate: 2.78 children born/woman (1997 est.)

    Nationality:
    noun: Fijian(s)
    adjective: Fijian

    Ethnic groups: Fijian 49%, Indian 46%, European, other Pacific Islanders, overseas Chinese, and other 5%

    Religions: Christian 52% (Methodist 37%, Roman Catholic 9%), Hindu 38%, Muslim 8%, other 2%
    note: Fijians are mainly Christian, Indians are Hindu, and there is a Muslim minority (1986)

    Languages: English (official), Fijian, Hindustani

    Literacy:
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population : 91.6%
    male: 93.8%
    female: 89.3% (1995 est.)

    Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Republic of Fiji
    conventional short form : Fiji

    Data code: FJ

    Government type: republic
    note: military coup leader Maj. Gen. Sitiveni RABUKA formally declared Fiji a republic on 6 October 1987

    National capital: Suva

    Administrative divisions: 4 divisions and 1 dependency*; Central, Eastern, Northern, Rotuma*, Western

    Independence: 10 October 1970 (from UK)

    National holiday: Independence Day, 10 October (1970)

    Constitution: 10 October 1970 (suspended 1 October 1987); a new constitution was proposed on 23 September 1988 and promulgated on 25 July 1990; the 1990 constitution is under review; the review is scheduled to be completed by 1997

    Legal system: based on British system

    Suffrage: 21 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Ratu Sir Kamisese MARA (acting president since 15 December 1993, president since 12 January 1994); First Vice President Ratu Sir Josaia TAIVAIQIA (since 12 January 1994); Second Vice President Ratu Inoke TAKIVEIKATA (since 12 January 1994)
    head of government: Prime Minister Sitiveni RABUKA (since 2 June 1992)
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the prime minister from among the members of Parliament and is responsible to Parliament
    note : there is also a Presidential Council that advises the president on matters of national importance and a Great Council of Chiefs which consists of the highest ranking members of the traditional chiefly system
    elections: president elected by the Great Council of Chiefs for a five-year term; prime minister appointed by the president
    election results : Ratu Sir Kamisese MARA elected president; percent of Great Council of Chiefs vote - NA

    Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (34 seats; 24 reserved for ethnic Fijians, 9 for Indians and others, and 1 for the island of Rotuma; members appointed by the president to serve five-year terms) and the House of Representatives (70 seats; 37 reserved for ethnic Fijians, 27 for ethnic Indians, and 6 for independents and others; members elected by popular vote on a communal basis to serve five-year terms)
    elections: House of Representatives - last held 18-25 February 1994 (next to be held NA 1999)
    election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - SVT 31, NFP 20, FLP 7, FAP 5, GVP 4, independents 2, ANC 1

    Judicial branch: Supreme Court

    Political parties and leaders: Fijian Political Party (SVT - primarily Fijian), leader Maj. Gen. Sitivini RABUKA; National Federation Party (NFP; primarily Indian), Jai Ram REDDY; Fijian Nationalist Party (FNP), Sakeasi BUTADROKA; Fiji Labor Party (FLP), Mahendra CHAUDHRY; General Voters Party (GVP), Leo SMITH; Fiji Conservative Party (FCP), leader NA; Conservative Party of Fiji (CPF), leader NA; Fiji Indian Liberal Party, leader NA; Fiji Indian Congress Party, leader NA; Fiji Independent Labor (Muslim), leader NA; Four Corners Party, leader NA; Fijian Association Party (FAP), Josevata KAMIKAMICA; General Electors' Association, leader NA
    note: in early 1995, ethnic Fijian members of the All National Congress (ANC) merged with the Fijian Association (FA); the remaining members of the ANC have renamed their party the General Electors' Association

    International organization participation: ACP, AsDB, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO (subscriber), ITU, PCA, Sparteca, SPC, SPF, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNIKOM, UNTAES, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Ratu Napolioni MASIREWA
    chancery: Suite 240, 2233 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
    telephone: [1] (202) 337-8320
    FAX : [1] (202) 337-1996
    consulate(s): New York

    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission : Ambassador Don Lee GEVIRTZ
    embassy: 31 Loftus Street, Suva
    mailing address: P. O. Box 218, Suva
    telephone: [679] 314466
    FAX: [679] 300081

    Flag description: light blue with the flag of the UK in the upper hoist-side quadrant and the Fijian shield centered on the outer half of the flag; the shield depicts a yellow lion above a white field quartered by the cross of Saint George featuring stalks of sugarcane, a palm tree, bananas, and a white dove

    Economy

    Economy - overview: Fiji, endowed with forest, mineral, and fish resources, is one of the most developed of the Pacific island economies, though still with a large subsistence sector. Sugar exports and tourism are the major sources of foreign exchange. Sugar processing makes up one-third of industrial activity. Roughly 250,000 tourists visit each year. Political uncertainty and drought, however, contribute to substantial fluctuations in earnings from tourism and sugar and to the emigration of skilled workers. In 1992, growth was approximately 3%, based on growth in tourism and a lessening of labor-management disputes in the sugar and gold-mining sectors. In 1993, the government's budgeted growth rate of 3% was not achieved because of a decline in non-sugar agricultural output and damage from Cyclone Kina. Growth in 1994 of 5% was largely attributable to increased tourism and expansion in the manufacturing sector.

    GDP: purchasing power parity - $5.1 billion (1996 est.)

    GDP - real growth rate: 5% (1996 est.)

    GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $6,500 (1996 est.)

    GDP - composition by sector:
    agriculture: 21%
    industry: 18%
    services: 61% (1995 est.)

    Inflation rate - consumer price index: 3% (1997 est.)

    Labor force:
    total: 235,000
    by occupation: subsistence agriculture 67%, wage earners 18%, salary earners 15% (1987)

    Unemployment rate: 6% (1997 est.)

    Budget:
    revenues: $540.65 million
    expenditures : $742.65 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1997 est.)

    Industries: sugar, tourism, copra, gold, silver, clothing, lumber, small cottage industries

    Industrial production growth rate: 2.9% (1995)

    Electricity - capacity: 200,000 kW (1993)

    Electricity - production: 510 million kWh (1994)

    Electricity - consumption per capita: 660 kWh (1995 est.)

    Agriculture - products: sugarcane, coconuts, cassava (tapioca), rice, sweet potatoes, bananas; cattle, pigs, horses, goats; fish catch 13,796 tons (1991)

    Exports:
    total value : $607 million (f.o.b., 1995)
    commodities: sugar 32%, clothing, gold, processed fish, lumber
    partners: EU 26%, Australia 15%, other Pacific island countries 11%, Japan 6%

    Imports:
    total value: $864 million (c.i.f., 1995)
    commodities: machinery and transport equipment, petroleum products, food, consumer goods, chemicals
    partners: Australia 30%, NZ 17%, Japan 13%, EU 6%, US 6%

    Debt - external: $333.8 million (1996 est.)

    Economic aid:
    recipient : ODA, $14.35 million from Australia (FY96/97 est.); $3.5 million from New Zealand (FY95/96)

    Currency: 1 Fijian dollar (F$) = 100 cents

    Exchange rates: Fijian dollars (F$) per US$1 - 1.4000 (January 1997), 1.4033 (1996), 1.4063 (1995), 1.4641 (1994), 1.5418 (1993), 1.5030 (1992)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

    Communications

    Telephones: 60,017 (1987 est.)

    Telephone system: modern local, interisland, and international (wire/radio integrated) public and special-purpose telephone, telegraph, and teleprinter facilities; regional radio communications center
    domestic: NA
    international: access to important cable link between US and Canada and NZ and Australia; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean)

    Radio broadcast stations: AM 7, FM 1, shortwave 0

    Radios: NA

    Television broadcast stations: 0

    Televisions: 12,000 (1992 est.)

    Transportation

    Railways:
    total : 597 km; note - belongs to the government-owned Fiji Sugar Corporation
    narrow gauge: 597 km 0.610-m gauge (1995)

    Highways:
    total: 3,370 km
    paved: 1,655 km
    unpaved : 1,715 km (1995 est.)

    Waterways: 203 km; 122 km navigable by motorized craft and 200-metric-ton barges

    Ports and harbors: Labasa, Lautoka, Levuka, Savusavu, Suva

    Merchant marine:
    total: 6 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 17,800 GRT/18,034 DWT
    ships by type: chemical tanker 2, oil tanker 1, passenger 1, roll-on/roll-off cargo 2 (1996 est.)

    Airports: 21 (1996 est.)

    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 18
    over 3,047 m: 1
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    914 to 1,523 m : 1
    under 914 m: 15 (1996 est.)

    Airports - with unpaved runways:
    total: 3
    914 to 1,523 m: 3 (1996 est.)

    Military

    Military branches: Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF; includes army, navy, and a small air wing)

    Military manpower - military age: 18 years of age

    Military manpower - availability:
    males age 15-49: 210,048 (1997 est.)

    Military manpower - fit for military service:
    males : 115,766 (1997 est.)

    Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
    males: 8,986 (1997 est.)

    Military expenditures - dollar figure: $32 million (1997)

    Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 5% (1997)

    Transnational Issues

    Disputes - international: none