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Speed up economic growth in Fiji

Property Investments and Real Estate Opportunities in Fiji was one of the topics during the panel discussions at the 5th National Real Estate Conference held earlier this month.

The panelists for the discussion session included Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Co-operatives, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Communications Honorable Manoa Kamikamica, BSP Life (Fiji) Limited, Head of Properties Saimoni Shaw and Director of RE/MAX Tropics and Real Estate Agent, Paula Benn.

Mr Kamikamica who addressed the need to speed up economic growth in Fiji said in order to shift the dial in our country and bring fiscal structure under control, we need to grow at about 5 percent or more.

“We all know we have a major debt problem in this country,” he said.


“We will solve it by saving expenses here and there but that is only short term. And personally I'm hoping that in time we can start collaborating, having strategic partnerships with some of these larger jurisdictions. In this way, we feed off best practice from other countries.”


During this session, Mr Kamikamica also highlighted data as one of the biggest issues in Fiji.


“If you can't measure, you can't manage,” he said.


“We don't have enough good data in our industry, including real estate. If we have good data, we can actually do good valuations. Trying to get access to good data to be able to actually sort of do things better and that applies to other industries as well. Those are the challenges I’d like to see us solve together. Legal framework and being facilitative rather than obstructive.”


BSP Life (Fiji) Limited, Head of Properties Saimoni Shaw highlighted investor opportunities present in the market and warehousing to be an investment in the future while Director of RE/MAX Tropics and of Real Estate Agent Paula Benn shared some points on technology innovation and women in real estate.


She said real estate agents must stop depending on the traditional methods of real estate and learn technical platforms to utilize and maximize exposure of the properties and as real estate agents not just locally but worldwide.


“This is a very strong avenue here in Fiji and real estate agents need to create their own websites,” Ms Benn said.


“I know a lot of us don’t have websites and only focus on social media but we do need to increase our websites for exposure of all the properties that we have as well. Getting information about Fiji out to the world, our local investors and ensuring that we’ve got the right, correct information.”


With all that technology, she adds one has to go out of their own way and absorb.


Moreover, Ms Benn shared the first challenge of not having a stable platform in Fiji and its risks.


“I'm going to use this forum to address women in real estate and how we are consistently approached in not nice ways by men on social media platforms,” she said.


“I think that's something that needs to be addressed in a serious manner – how to protect our women. We also need to have education from the government ministries and from realty specific to that.”

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