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DeFi & KYC Part 2

Updated: Oct 18, 2022


That's the view of entrepreneur Truman Bradley, who owns seven businesses in the Pacific Island country.

He cites its location as an appealing factor. "We have access to North America, we have access to Asia, we have access to Australia and New Zealand," he says.

The last six years have been particularly difficult for Fiji, though.

In 2016, the worst storm recorded in the southern hemisphere - Cyclone Winston - tore across the region, killing dozens of people and forcing tens of thousands more from their homes.

It was a stark reminder that as climate change warms the world's oceans, the Pacific is particularly vulnerable to extreme weather events.

Then came Covid-19. With borders closed and lockdowns imposed, Fiji's thriving tourist industry - one of the main pillars of the economy - was all but shut down, while lucrative seafood and agricultural exports ground to a halt.

At the same time, Pacific Island states like Fiji are also having to navigate escalating competition between the US and China for influence in the region, with both countries offering loans, aid and security. In response, Australia and New Zealand have ramped up involvement in the region too.

Many in Fiji agree that now is the time for the country to diversify away from traditional industries and tourism, in order to protect its economy.

  • Fiji country profile

Mr Bradley says the answer is to invest in sectors like technology and business services, such as call centres. And thankfully, he says there is a lot of interest.

He is speaking to the BBC at his office in the capital Suva, which is located in an old wooden house overlooking the city. His companies range from selling furniture to developing phone apps.

Among the latter is a subscription-based weather app called NaDraki, which provides forecasts and climate information to the Fiji government, businesses and members of the public.

The app also has a chat service whereby subscribers can speak directly to a weather forecaster for more specific information.