Island economies show good growth in 2011; will slow down next year


As has been the case this past decade, Papua New Guinea will continue to lead the Pacific Island states in economic growth.<!--more-->PNG’s growth rates are in the league of those of India and China: this year, its economy is tipped to grow by an impressive 8.5 per cent dipping to 6.5 per cent next year. This has boosted the islands collective growth rate to 6.5 per cent this year.

PNG’s natural resources boom continues to bring the world’s biggest players to its shores. In fact, the resources boom is propelling growth rates in all the Melanesian states. The Solomon Islands and Vanuatu will both grow over 4 per cent this year and the next.

But growth in Vanuatu is more well-rounded in not being driven by the resource boom alone. Government policies that have encouraged private sector investment as well as continuous policy reforms in the telecommunications and aviation sectors have resulted in boosting both investment and tourism.

Fiji seems to be the only slow performer in Melanesia with growth rates at just 0.5 per cent this year, rising marginally to 0.8 per cent next year.

Over in Micronesia, Nauru is expected to grow 4 per cent on the back of new phosphate mining projects and in not-so-resource-rich Polynesia, Samoa will take the lead in the growth stakes with a 3 per cent increase in its GDP this year.

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