Information about Asia and the Pacific Asia y el Pacífico
Front Matter

Front Matter

Christopher Browne
Published Date:
August 2006
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Information about Asia and the Pacific Asia y el Pacífico
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© 2006 International Monetary Fund

Production: IMF, Multimedia Services Division, Creative Services

Cover design: Massoud Etemadi

The cover depicts a palm leaf and a map of selected Pacific islands.

Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Browne, Christopher, 1944—

Pacific Island economies / Christopher Browne — [Washington, D.C. : International Monetary Fund, 2006]

p. cm.

ISBN 1-58906-516-6

1. Islands of the Pacific — Economic policy. 2. Islands of the Pacific — Economic conditions. 3. Foreign exchange rates — Islands of the Pacific. 4. Emigrant remittances — Islands of the Pacific. I. International Monetary Fund.

HC681.B76 2006

Price: $25.00

Address orders to:

International Monetary Fund, Publication Services

700 19th Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20431, U.S.A.

Tel.: (202) 623-7430 Telefax: (202) 623-7201




The following conventions are used in this publication:

In tables, a blank cell indicates “not applicable,” ellipsis points (…) indicate “not available,” and 0 or 0.0 indicates “zero” or “negligible.” Minor discrepancies between sums of constituent figures and totals are due to rounding.

An en dash (—) between years or months (for example, 2005-06 or January-June) indicates the years or months covered, including the beginning and ending years or months; a slash or virgule (/) between years or months (for example, 2005/06) indicates a fiscal or financial year, as does the abbreviation FY (for example, FY2006).

“Billion” means a thousand million; “trillion” means a thousand billion.

As used in this publication, the term “country” does not in all cases refer to a territorial entity that is a state as understood by international law and practice. As used here, the term also covers some territorial entities that are not states but for which statistical data are maintained on a separate and independent basis.


The Pacific island region has considerable potential for development, especially in the areas of tourism, fisheries, forestry, mining, and agriculture. With these resources and the continued substantial economic assistance from donors that is expected, it is certainly feasible to lift these countries’ medium-term economic growth record, improve human development indicators, and reduce poverty. Experience since independence demonstrates that the traditional way of life can be preserved, even while the processes of development create modern institutions and help to meet changing aspirations.

The Pacific island countries face many challenges in developing their economies and raising living standards, including their small size, distance from major markets, and vulnerability to natural disasters. Successfully overcoming these challenges will require the continuation of macroeconomic stability and increased emphasis on the structural reforms to which island governments are committed, including improved public sector efficiency and greater private sector activity. While recognizing that important economic, political, and cultural differences exist between the islands, there are a range of policy recommendations that are widely applicable throughout the region.

The International Monetary Fund has for many years enjoyed regular, open, and fruitful discussions on economic policy with all the member countries in the region. This dialogue is now being intensified through more frequent staff visits. The islands have made only limited use of IMF resources in the past, but financial support can always be considered when needed.

The IMF will also continue to play a key role in providing technical assistance to the region, particularly through the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Center (PFTAC). This institution is located in Suva, Fiji, and serves 15 Pacific island countries: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. It is funded by the Asian Development Bank, Australia, the IMF, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and New Zealand.

This book provides an assessment of regional issues that are currently being addressed by economic policymakers. The country-specific chapters, which comprise the second half of the book, provide in each case a broad overview of the main factors affecting the countries’ individual economic performance since independence and the main challenges that lie ahead.

David Burton

Director, Asia and Pacific Department


This volume is a collective effort, authored by economists of the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department (APD) who have worked on Pacific Island countries. The project was conducted under the general guidance of Christopher Browne, Assistant Director, APD, who authored several chapters and reviewed the remaining chapters. Steven Dunaway, Deputy Director of APD, provided helpful comments. Fritz R. Pierre-Louis from APD finalized the charts and tables. We are particularly grateful to Linda Griffin Kean of the IMF’s External Relations Department, who edited the manuscript and coordinated production of the book.

The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the IMF, its Executive Board, or its management.



Asian Development Bank


anti-money laundering


anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism


Basel Committee on Banking Supervision


Caribbean Community and Common Market


Council on the Cost and Quality of Government


common external tariff


combating the financing of terrorism

Compact I

original Compact of Free Association with the United States, 1987-2003 (Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau)

Compact II

renewed Compact of Free Association with the United States, 2004-23 (Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau)


Eastern Caribbean Currency Union


Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority


exclusive economic zone


European Monetary Union


Economic Partnership Agreement (with the European Union)


European Union


Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering


foreign direct investment


Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (United States)


Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat


Federated States of Micronesia


gross domestic product


International Development Association (World Bank)


International Monetary Fund


Millennium Development Goals


Pacific island country


Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement

The Plan

Pacific Plan for Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Integration


Papua New Guinea


Pacific Plan Action Committee


Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands


Revenue Equalization Reserve Fund (Kiribati)


Republic of the Marshall Islands


Regional Trade Facilitation Program


Solomon Islands


United Nations


value-added tax on goods and services


value-added tax


World Trade Organization

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