With Fiji's own limited resources and industrial base, the country relies on imports for many of its basic
|Trade (expressed in billions of US$): Fiji|
|SOURCE: International Monetary Fund. International Financial Statistics Yearbook 1999.|
goods, making international trade essential. As Fiji's political woes have worsened, however, its balance of trade has become less favorable. In 1999 Fiji ran a US$115.6 million trade deficit, or about 7.37 percent of GDP. In 1998 it had exports of $393 million and imports of $612 million. While the post-coup devaluation of the Fijian dollar will help Fijian exporters, it will also make Fiji's imports more expensive.
Fiji's main trading partners are its Commonwealth neighbors (Australia, New Zealand, other Pacific islands) and old and new regional powers (United Kingdom, United States). The chief importer of Fijian wares is Australia, which in 1999 bought 33.1 percent of all Fijian exports. Other important partners include the United States (14.8 percent of exports) and the United Kingdom (13.8 percent). Penetration into Asia has been limited and variable, and only significant with Japan and Singapore. Fiji's imports come primarily from Australia, whose dominance in the Fijian market (41.9 percent) continues to rise. Other suppliers include the United States (14.1 percent of imports) and New Zealand (13.3 percent). The main imports are manufactured goods (27.3 percent), machinery and transport equipment (26.3 percent), food (14.4 percent), and mineral fuels (11.1 percent).