Country - Fiji


Fiji Islands Country Information

The Republic of Fiji, or simply Fiji, is a collection of more than 332 islands and more than 500 islets in Melanasia which is a sub-region of Oceania. Human presence can be found in about 110 islands in the entire archipelago of Fiji. There are two distinct major islands Viti Levu and Vanua Levu where most of economic activities are carried out. The island Viti Levu is home to the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Fiji, known by the name Suva.

Long before the European explorers discovered Fiji islands in 17th century, the aborigines made their abodes in the region. The earthen pots obtained from the archaeological excavations indicate the presence of humans between 3000-1500 B.C. In an attempt to find the Great Southern Continent, a Dutch explorer Abel Tasman discovered Fiji islands. Europeans began to live in the islands from 19th century. The British invaded the islands and brought under their rule in 1874 which lasted till 1970. Indian labourers were brought as slaves to work in sugarcane fields. Fiji was granted independence in 1970 by the United Kingdom. The Democratic Government could not continue beyond 1987 due to the resentment among the native Fijians who believed that Indian immigrants were holding key positions in running the government and military coups erupted resulting in change of the name from Dominion of Fiji to Republic of Fiji. Subsequently, the name was further changed to the Republic of Fiji Islands. The military coups resulted in establishment of rule by Melanesians who replaced Indian immigrants.

The present form of Government is of a parliamentary representative democratic republic system which empowers the Prime Minister as the Head of the Government and the President as the Head of the state.

Both the islands Viti Levu and Vanua Levu account for the 87% of the total population. The city of Nadi is more populated than the capital Viti Levu. The entire population of the country is estimated at above 8,44,000 out of whom 64.4% are Christians, 27.9% are Hindus and the rest belong to other religions.

The economy of Fiji is considered as an advanced system on account of abundant natural resources, though much of the population belongs to subsistence sector. The country made a rapid progress in the decades of 1960 and 1970 but the subsequent performance was at a stagnant pace. The two largest components of exports are sugar and garments forming one-third of the export income. The main imports are foodstuffs, minerals, machinery, beverages, manufactutred and tobacco. Fiji depends heavily on sugar industry and tourism.

Touring in Fiji is much sought after by international visitors on account of hundreds of the pristine and unpolluted natural locations. Snorkelling and swimming are the most common activities chosen by tourists. There is a plenty of sea creatures and large underwater mountains of coral reeves which make a delightful scene for deep divers and snorkelers. Zip-lining is the other activity to fly between the treetops in the dense forests.

The natural water available in Fiji is world famous for its cleanliness and drinkability. However, not all the place offer safe drinking water. Specific places in Nadi and Suva are said to supply high quality drinking water. The naturally occurring minerals like silica, magnesium, calcium make for its soft and smooth taste that prompts commercial enterprises to use the name of Fiji as their trademark for selling drinking water.