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Western Samoa Country Profile

Western Samoa Country Profile

Economic and Social:

· Population = 200,108 (2017 est.)

· Population growth rate = 0.6% (2017 est.)

· GDP = 1.13 billion (2017 est.)

· GDP real growth rate = 2.1% (2017 est.)

Two thirds of the labour force of Samoa (Western) are currently employed by fishing and the agriculture sector. This also amounts to about 90% of the country’s exports. Tourism has also been increasing in recent years, with 132,000 tourists visiting in 2013 (CIA, 2018).

The world factbook stated that “the Samoan Government has called for deregulation of the country’s financial sector, encouragement of investment, and continued fiscal discipline, while at the same time protecting the environment.” (CIA, 2018).

The world factbook also stated that “Foreign reserves are relatively healthy, and inflation is low, but external debt is approximately 45% of GDP. Samoa became the 155th member of the WTO in May 2012 and graduated from least developed country status in January 2014.” (CIA, 2018).

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Vanuatu Country Profile

Economic and Social:

· Population = 282,814(2017 est.)

· Population growth rate = 1.85% (2017 est.)

· GDP = 787 million (2017 est.)

· GDP real growth rate = 4.5% (2017 est.)

Vanuatu is a small island in the south pacific, with its economy resting on tourism and agriculture. These industries make up two thirds of the economy. Furthermore, Vanuatu offers offshore financial services.

Vanuatu has experienced infrastructure difficulties, particularly with their airport in Port Vila after the island was damaged by the tropical cyclone pam in 2015 (CIA, 2018).

According to the world factbook, “ Economic development is hindered by dependence on relatively few commodity exports, vulnerability to natural disasters, and long distances from main markets and between constituent islands”. Also, “In response to foreign concerns, the government has promised to tighten regulation of its offshore financial center” (CIA, 2018).

The government has emphasized improving air transportation, resort development and cruise ship facilities in an effort to improve tourism. They are also working on growing their agriculture industry, particularly livestock farming (CIA, 2018).

Tonga Country Profile

Economic and Social:

· Population = 106,479 (2017 est.)

· Population growth rate = -0.05% (2017 est.)

· GDP = 587 million (2017 est.)

· GDP real growth rate = 3.1% (2017 est.)

Tonga remains the last constitutional monarchy of the pacific island countries. It’s limited number of exports are primarily based on agricultural goods, including squash, vanilla beans, and yams. Fish also make up a large portion of Tongan exports. Due to the small size of the country and its influx of tourists, Tonga imports a large quantity of food (CIA, 2018).

Tonga offsets its large trade deficit mainly due to remittances and is still reliant on external aid. The world factbook states that “The government is emphasizing the development of the private sector, encouraging investment, and is committing increased funds for health care and education. Tonga’s English-speaking and educated workforce offer a viable labor market, and the tropical climate provides fertile soil. Renewable energy and deep-sea mining also offer opportunities for investment.” (CIA, 2018).

Tonga faces moderate levels of inflation, and pressure for democratic reform. However, they have well developed social services and a basic infrastructure in place.

Papua New Guinea Country Profile

Economic and Social:

· Population = 6,909,701 (2017 est.)

· Population growth rate = 1.71% (2017 est.)

· GDP = 30.84 billion (2017 est.)

· GDP real growth rate = 3.1% (2017 est.)

· “Mineral deposits, including copper, gold, and oil, account for nearly two-thirds of export earnings. Natural gas reserves amount to an estimated 155 billion cubic meters. Following construction of a $19 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, PNG LNG, a consortium led by ExxonMobil, began exporting liquefied natural gas to Asian markets in May 2014. The project was delivered on time and only slightly above budget. The success of the project has encouraged other companies to look at similar LNG projects.

French supermajor Total is expected to begin construction on the Papua LNG project by 2020. Due to lower global commodity prices, resource revenues of all types have fallen dramatically. PNG’s government has recently been forced to adjust spending levels downward” as stated by the world factbook (CIA, 2018).

Physical security for foreign investors remains an ongoing issue. Other issues include improving investor confidence, and promoting economic longevity (CIA, 2018).

New Zealand Country Profile

Economic and Social:

· Population = 4,510,327 (2017 est.)

· Population growth rate = 0.79% (2017 est.)

· GDP = 185.7 billion (2017 est.)

· GDP real growth rate = 3.5% (2017 est.)

New Zealand has become an industrialized global market economy. It’s industrial sector has seen large increases in its technological ability.

The world factbook states that “Expanding New Zealand’s network of free trade agreements remains a top foreign policy priority. New Zealand was an early promoter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and was the second country to ratify the agreement in May 2017” (CIA, 2018).

· Furthermore, after the United States withdrew from the TPP in January of 2017, the remaining 11 countries agreed to form a new agreement titled the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Additionally, as of November 2016, New Zealand began negotiations with China to upgrade their free trade agreement (CIA, 2018).

New Caledonia Country Profile

Economic and Social:

· Population = 279,000 (2017 est.)

· Population growth rate = 1.33% (2017 est.)

· GDP $10.77 billion (2017 est.)

· GDP real growth rate 4% (2017 est.)

New Caledonia holds 11% of the worlds nickel reserves; the second largest reserve in the world. The island does not boast a large agricultural industry, and imports 20% of its food. Additionally, the economy of New Caledonia is heavily reliant on support from France, as well as tourism. These factors account for 15% of the countries GDP (CIA, 2018).

Two new nickel plants have lead to an increase in the production of metallurgical goods. However this sector suffers from high volatility in the pricing of nickel, which has been on the decline since 2016 (CIA, 2018).

The world factbook stated that “ In 2017, one of the three major mining firms on the island, Vale, put its operations up for sale, triggering concerns of layoffs ahead of the 2018 independence referendum”(CIA, 2018).

Marshall Islands Country Profile

Economic and Social:

· Population = 74,539 (2017 est.)

· Population growth rate = 1.55% (2017 est.)

· GDP = 189 million (2017 est.)

· GDP real growth rate = 1.9% (2017 est.)

The Marshall Islands relies mainly on the assistance of the US government, as well as lease payments for the use of the Kwajalein Atoll. This area holds a US military base. The Marshall Islands hosts a small agricultural industry with coconuts and breadfruits being the main crops (CIA, 2018).

The islands have limited natural resources, and as such its imports heavily exceed its exports. The world factbook states that “Under the amended Compact, the Marshall Islands will receive roughly $1.5 billion in direct US assistance. Under the amended Compact, the US and Marshall Islands are also jointly funding a Trust Fund for the people of the Marshall Islands that will provide an income stream beyond 2024, when direct Compact aid ends” (CIA, 2018).

French Polynesia Country Profile

Economic and Social:

· Population = 297,881 (2017 est.)

· Population growth rate = 0.88% (2017 est.)

· GDP = 5.49 billion (2015 est.)

· GDP real growth rate = 2% (2015 est.)

French Polynesia was heavily affected by the financial crisis of 2008. Since then they have began to recover, largely thanks to their tourism industry which accounted for 85% of value added to the economy in 2012. The pearl farming industry is the second largest industry and accounted for 54% of exports in 2015 (CIA, 2018).

The world factbook also stated that “France has agreed to finance infrastructure, marine businesses, and cultural and ecological sites at roughly $80 million per year between 2015 and 2020. Japan, the US, and China are French Polynesia’s three largest trade partners” (CIA, 2018).

Fiji Country Profile

Economic and Social:

· Population = 920,938 (2017 est.)

· Population growth rate = 0.6% (2017 est.)

· GDP = 8.647 billion (2017 est.)

· GDP real growth rate = 3.8% (2017 est.)

Fiji remains a large producer of sugar as one of its main exports. However, the industry has suffered in recent years due to damage from Cyclone Winston in 2016, and the withdrawal of the European Union’s’ preferential prices in 2017. This has led to an increasing trade balance as exports fall and imports rise.

The world factbook stated that “The return to parliamentary democracy and successful elections in September 2014 improved investor confidence, but increasing bureaucratic regulation, new taxes and lack of consultation with relevant stakeholders brought four consecutive years of decline for Fiji on the World Bank Ease of Doing Business index” (CIA, 2018).

Australia Country Profile

Economic and Social:

· Population = 23,232,413 (2017 est.)

· Population growth rate = 1.03% (2017 est.)

· GDP = 1.235 trillion (2017 est.)

· GDP real growth rate = 2.2% (2017 est.)

Australia retains its strong industries, only facing hurdles in the fall of global prices in its main exports. Furthermore, current demand for energy related resources in Asia has fallen which has also impacted prices and industry growth.

Commodities (CIA, 2018).

The world factbook stated that “The services sector is the largest part of the Australian economy, accounting for about 70% of GDP and 75% of jobs. Australia was comparatively unaffected by the global financial crisis as the banking system has remained strong and inflation is under control” (CIA, 2018).

Australia is expected to increase its already large resource sector due to a $40 billion USD gorgon liquid natural gas project. Furthermore, there are few restrictions on imports of goods and services due to Australia being an open market. “Australia continues to negotiate bilateral agreements with India and Indonesia, as well as larger agreements with its Pacific neighbors and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, and an Asia-wide Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership that includes the 10 ASEAN countries and China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and India” as stated by the world factbook (CIA, 2018).

American Samoa Country Profile

Economic and Social:

· Population = 51,504 (2017 est.)

· Population growth rate = -1.3% (2017 est.)

· GDP = 711 million (2013 est.)

· GDP real growth rate = -2.4% (2013 est.)

The economy of American Samoa is strongly linked to the United States. The private sector of this country is largely held up by its tuna fishing and processing. Tourism is a developing industry, but attempts to broaden the economy are halted by location, transportation and natural disasters.

A new fish processing plant was opened in 2015 leading to an increase in fish processing and an increase in exports (CIA, 2018).