JOURNAL OF PACIFIC STUDIES
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Appana, Subhash(1)

Title: Creating an enabling environment for indigenous business in Fiji

Author: Appana, Subhash
Subject:  Fiji Indigenous Business Councill
 Small business|Management|Fiji
Volume: Vol.32 no.2, 2012
Collation: p. 50-68

Abstract: The ongoing strains qf a sustained global economic downturn ha:ve forced a shift in focus to how individual countries can generate small-scak inward-focused eco1lfJmic activity whik waitingfor the global eC01lfJmy to regain its vibranry. It is in this regard that SM& ha:ve gravitated to centre stage, especiallY in isolated developing economies. In Fiji, recent government poliq has prioritised 'selfhelp' and 'selfsuiJiciency'in a marked departure.from the established outward-focus that characterised policies during the second half qf the 1980s and much qf the next 2 decades. A mqjor concern that all qf Fiji's governments ha:ve had to grappk with has been an increasinglY insistent ethnic-Fijian desire to participate in a more uisibk manner in the commercial sector. GWen Fiji's sociopolitical composition, this opens up promising avenues for mobilising hitherto dormant resources ond encournging indigenous business within the SME framework. After providing a critical historical overview qf indigenous business initiatWes in Fiji, this paper contends that many qf the reasons for past shortcomings had to do with a political reluctance to aclrnowkdge openly the need for strict eco1lfJmic solutions to business problems. A mqjor shortcoming in this regard was the triuialisation qf the tenet qf accountability in the interests qf political expedieruy. This paper proposes an enablingframework for indigenous business management It concludes l!J! proposing a number qf sectors that '!.!fer encournging opportunities for indigenous business within the SME framework.

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