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Growth and development in the Pacific Islands: an overview of issues

Prasad, Biman C. and Roy, K.C. (2008) Growth and development in the Pacific Islands: an overview of issues. In: Development Economics Research Trends. Nova Science Publishers, New York, pp. 165-172. ISBN 9781604561722

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Pacific Island countries (PICs) are a very diverse group with varied culture, traditions and language. In addition, the diversity in the size of their economies presents special challenges for their development. Niue with a population of 1,700 is the smallest and Papua New Guinea with a population of about 5 million is the biggest and with the largest amount of natural resources. Almost all the PICs have in the last decade faced serious economic problems characterized by low levels of economic growth (see table 1.1). Unemployment, poverty and other social problems have been increasing in all these countries. The economic performance of the PICs has generally been weak despite high investment ratios recorded (ADB, 2000). The weak performance is attributed to both lower external demand due to global economic slowdown, and domestic structural problems relating to the small size of the economies, remoteness from the main markets, narrow resources base, political instability, civil unrest, market rigidities, depletion of already limited resources and dominance of the public sector (PIFS, 2002). Over the last six years up to 2004, the PICs have experienced variable but generally low growth rates. From a weighted average growth rate in GDP of 6 per cent in 1999, the GDP growth rate fell to -1 per cent in 2000 and -0.8 per cent in 2001. With a recorded GDP growth rate of 1 per cent in 2002, performance improved in 2003 and 2004 with average growth rates in GDP of 2.6 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively. In the context of a predicted weaker international economic environment, it is expected that economic growth in the Pacific Region will decline to 2.3 per cent in 2005 (ADB, 2005).

Item Type: Book Chapter
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Divisions: Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) > School of Economics
Depositing User: Ms Neha Harakh
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2008 03:41
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2012 08:25

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