The Kiribati economy - Performance and prospects

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Abstract

The economy of Kiribati has shown very slow growth since the country achieved independence in 1979, with real GDP per capita today being little different from its level twenty years ago. Performance has been affected by the size and inefficiency of the public sector, by the country's limited export base, and by the lack of a dynamic private sector presence. Nevertheless, conservative macroeconomic management and a significant level of external reserves have helped the Kiribati government to maintain fiscal and external balance over the years. There are some immediate problems posed by declining copra prices and uncertainties surrounding future fisheries returns, however, there are some hopeful signs for export growth, especially in tourism. The current National Development Strategy is consistent with a development path that is environmentally, socially and culturally sustainable, but it remains to be seen whether its good intentions can be translated into action.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalPacific Economic Bulletin
Volume16
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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