Many individuals and families rely on their wages and salaries as the primary source of income to meet their basic needs. In Fiji and many other countries, a growing source of income is money from friends and relatives working abroad, commonly known as personal
remittances. An example of this is money sent to families in Fiji by Fijian security personnel who work in the Middle East.
Personal remittances has been the second largest foreign exchange earner for Fiji since 2004 next only to tourism and out ranking our traditional foreign exchange earners such as sugar, timber, gold and garments. The significance of remittances to the Fijian economy has increased over the years particularly as it supplements household incomes as well as a major and reliable source of foreign exchange. This article analyses the recent trend in personal remittances in Fiji, sources and contribution to the Fijian economy.
From 2010 to 2012, inward personal remittances averaged around $297.2 million. In 2013, total remittances rose by 10.9 percent to a record level of $339.1 million. Since then, remittances have further increased to new record levels, reaching close to $0.5 billion at $491.7 million in 2015. As a percent of Nominal Gross Domestic Product (NGDP) inward personal remittances averaged around 4.8 percent of NGDP from 2013 to 2015 (Chart 1).