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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Industrialization in Fiji Chandra, Rajesh


Industrialization has become one of the key strategies of development in the majority of the developing countries. Although not as committed to industrial transformation as the Newly Industrializing Countries, Fiji has, nonetheless, attempted to industrialize. Industrialization currently forms an important component of Fijian development strategy. This thesis investigates the industrialization of Fiji. Although its main focus is the contemporary manufacturing sector, the manufacturing sector is placed in its historical context. Ten major questions are posed in the thesis. These questions cover the theoretical approaches to and empirical situation in Third World industrialization, Fiji's integration into the international economic system, and the structure and organization of the contemporary Fijian manufacturing sector. The remaining questions address manufacturing linkages, location, and the role of the state in industrialization. Data used in the thesis were derived from field surveys, informal interviews, and documentary sources. Data were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences at the University of British Columbia. The thesis finds that the Fijian manufacturing sector makes a small contribution to the GDP, but that it is an important component of the economy because of its close links with Fiji's most important foreign exchange earners. Although the volume of industrial production has increased in Fiji since independence, its share of the GDP has not altered significantly. The manufacturing sector consists of a large number of small units and a small number of large units that provide the bulk of employment and output. Intra-manufacturing sector linkages are weak, but resource processing activities have strong backward linkages with the primary sector. The state has maintained its commitment to the private sector since independence, although its ownership of the Fiji Sugar Corporation makes it an important direct producer in the manufacturing sector. State policies relating to the manufacturing sector have evolved steadily in Fiji, although the government has not effectively co-ordinated them. The Fijian experience of industrialization provides both support and criticism of existing theoretical approaches to Third World industrialization, and suggests a greater need for synthesis in these approaches.

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