USP Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Rajesh Chandra while opening USP’s annual Fiji Economy Update at Suva’s Holiday Inn on Tuesday 12 August.
The University of the South Pacific Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Rajesh Chandra officially opened USP’s annual Fiji Economy Update at Suva’s Holiday Inn on Tuesday 12 August.
In his address, Professor Chandra said such updates bring together the public, researchers and policy makers to discuss research and analyse contemporary issues relating to the Fijian economy.
“This is an important role of the University: to provide a forum for discussion of important issues facing our member countries and to make available its research and diagnosis of the development situation of our member countries and to provide opportunities for engagement with policy makers and the public,” Professor Chandra said.
“This update and others that we do are important elements of our Strategic Plan 2013-2018: under Research and also Regional Engagement priority areas. The Strategic Plan is committed to transforming USP from the good University that it is widely recognised to be an excellent University,” he noted.
According to Professor Chandra, this lift to excellence is to inform all activities of the University as USP heads towards its 50th anniversary in 2018.
He noted that the theme for this year’s Economic Update, “Inclusive Growth and Development Strategies” is a useful one.
“We can say that economic growth is inclusive when it allows all members of a society to participate in and benefit from the growth process on an equal basis regardless of their individual circumstances.
“Hence a development strategy based on the inclusive growth concept is anchored on three policy pillars – create and expand economic opportunities through high and sustained growth; ensure equal access to opportunities to all members in the society; and provide adequate social safety nets to ensure minimum economic well-being,” he added.
Professor Chandra said it is important for the University to try and help our member countries through emphatic approaches that provide honest, data based assessments rather than follow any ideological bent.
“The challenge for the School of Economics is to ensure that options are presented and real, workable solutions are proposed,” he said.
Part of the turnout during the one-day Fiji Economy Update at Suva’s Holiday Inn on Tuesday 12 August.
Professor Chandra said there is no shortage of accounts of our problems in the Pacific, but there is a real shortage of workable solutions; of sound policy options that are not simply repeats of policies from other regions but tailored to our circumstances; of constructive, results-oriented engagement.
Keynote addresses were given by Professor Anindya Banerjee, University of Birmingham and Adjunct Professor, USP and Scott Roger, Project Coordinator, IMF Pacific Financial and Technical Assistance Centre.
The one-day event featured speakers from USP, Government, Fiji Chamber of Commerce, University of New South Wales, Massey University, Australian National University, University of Canberra, Fiji Bank and Finance Sector Employees Union and the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority.
The Fiji Economy Update is organised by USP’s School of Economics.
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