Viti Levu Feature

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On the Horizon

Democracy may not be present in the nation's capital but investors and developers have confidence enough in Fiji's future.

The city's first Western-style malls were completed in 2007 and 2008 and the outdated Raffles Tradewinds Hotel & Convention Centre has been sold and is likely to see a refurbishment.

Elsewhere in the country, 79 upscale villas are expected to be constructed on Nananu-I-Ra Island by the company that built Hilton's Fiji Beach Resort & Spa. A short boat trip north of the mainland, Nananu-I-Ra has traditionally been a stronghold of rustic all-inclusives and private homes. There's no end of construction in sight just outside the gate of Denarau Island, where plots of marshland have been divided up stretching almost to the airport and tens of hotels planned. Some anticipate Viti Levu's development into another Hawaii. However, projects around the country have been known to stall, leaving most in the business community skeptical. Self-appointed Prime Minister Bainimarama had promised to allow competition among energy and phone service providers by October 2008. This would encourage development and lighten the overhead costs that, following the coup, weighed heavily on those in the tourism business.

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