News 6 Aug 2018
Fiji’s international trade in Services statistics provide information on the value of import and export of services between Fiji and the rest of the world and are key components to the balance of payment calculations. The latest records show an increase since last year.
The role of service sector has changed dramatically in recent decades and are also the fastest-growing component of international trade.
Services, which represent the most dynamic segment of international trade, provides key input into the production and trade of all products, playing an important role in global value chains and economic development.
The advanced economies are primarily service economies in the sense that the service sector generates the major share of employment as well as income in those economies.
Trade in services register the value of services exchanged between residents and non-residents of an economy, together with services provided through foreign affiliates established abroad.
The indicator is normally measured as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for exports, imports and net trade.
Fiji’s international trade in Services statistics provide information on the value of import and export of services between Fiji and the rest of the world and are key components to the balance of payment calculations.
In the latest release by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics, the estimated Total Exports of Services in the March quarter of 2018 was $696.7 million, an increase of $100.1 million (16.8 per cent), while estimated Total Imports of Services was $329.0 million, an increase of $24.5 million (eight per cent) when compared to a year earlier.
A Surplus of $367.7 million was recorded in the March quarter of 2018, $75.6 million (25.9 per cent) more than the surplus of $292.1 million recorded a year earlier.
Services recording surplus for the March quarter of 2018 over March quarter of 2017 were:
Recorded a surplus of $311.5 million. This was an increase of $21.8 million, reflecting higher exports of travel related services
Recorded a surplus of $53.2 million noting an increase of $23.7 million.
This was the result of an increase in funds received from international agencies based in Fiji
Recorded a surplus of $48.4 million. This was an increase of $19.2 million.
It reflected higher exports of international air passenger services;
The sector noted a surplus of $4.3 million however, no change over comparable period was noted,
It recorded a surplus of $1.9 million.
There was a decrease of $0.9 million, reflecting lower export of services by financial institutions.
Maintenance and repair services
Noted a surplus of $0.3 million.
A total change of $1.6 million where a deficit of $1.3 million was recorded due to higher exports of repair related services.
Services recording deficit for the March quarter of 2018 over March quarter of 2017 were:
Other business services
Noted a deficit of $23.9 million.
This represents an increase in deficit of $0.8 million reflecting higher import of other professional and management consultation services.
Insurance services recorded a deficit of $19.9 million.
This represents a decrease in deficit of $1 million over comparable period due to lower import of insurance services to cover for the damage or complete loss of freight.Personal, cultural and recreational services
Noted a deficit of $3.5 million. This represents an increase in deficit of $2.2 million, reflecting higher imports of audio visual and other personal, cultural and recreational services
Charges for the use of
Recorded a deficit of $2.2 million. This represents a decrease in deficit of $0.8 million over comparable period due to lower imports of royalty and license services.
Recorded a deficit of $2.1 million.
This represents a total change of $3.6 million where a surplus of $1.5 million was recorded due to higher imports of construction services; and
Telecommunication, computer and information services
It noted a deficit of $0.3 million.
This represents a decrease in deficit of $15 million due to lower imports of computer and information services.
The service sector is key to economic growth, competitiveness and poverty alleviation.
As services are becoming increasingly “tradable” helped by technological advancement and the increased mobility of people.
International services trade has provided a new platform for expanding and diversifying exports and providing significant opportunities for developing and least developed countries.
Trade in international services is being looked at as a means to both address the domestic supply shortages and to diversify and boost exports.
Our economy is essentially a service driven economy with trade in services contributing about 73 per cent of GDP.
This is mainly through strong tourism earnings, air transportation and personal remittances.
While Fiji has a large merchandise deficit in goods as we import food, machinery, medicine, fuel etc, this is offset by the surpluses we record in the trade in services which includes tourism.
The sum of the trade in both goods and services is a currently current account balances.
In Fiji’s case, this current account balance is a small deficit and is considered sustainable.
Source: Fiji Sun