Melanesia will power ahead

15/12/2011

<p style="text-align: justify;">Despite the delicate politics of the Melanesian sub region – particularly as evidenced in the closing months of this year, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji will continue on their path of growth on the back of demand for their mineral resources.<!--more--></p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">PNG and East Timor – the latter not a Pacific Island Forum state – will be stellar performers in the sub region as far as economic growth is concerned. Their currencies have also performed well in the latter part of this year, holding well against the mayhem in Europe. East Timor also has come in for praise for establishing an efficient regulatory framework for sustainable economic development in what happens to be one of the world’s newest countries.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">It is not clear at the time of writing how exactly the political complexity in PNG will pan out but if the proposals in the recently announced budget are anything to go by, the government has shown an understanding of what it needs to do to usher in an atmosphere conducive to growth. Its plans to establish a sovereign fund, if handled well, could ensure prosperity for future generations of Papua New Guineans.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The same goes for the Solomon Islands – political stability will help power economic growth and increase confidence in intraregional investment that it has been experiencing this year. It’s largest single intra regional investor is PNG and better telecommunications, banking and air links between the two Melanesian neighbours has provided an enabling framework that has lead to this growth.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Vanuatu will continue to shape itself into the tourism destination it aspires to be, thanks to its incredible diversity and untapped potential in so many areas of niche tourism.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Fiji announced this week that its largest investment body, Investment Fiji, met the $600 million target set for new revenue this year. It says it is studying the inward investment practices of the governments of Singapore and Mauritius to implement similar strategies to boost local, regional and international investment into the country next year.</p>
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