Front Matter

Front Matter

Douglas Scott, and Christopher Browne
Published Date:
June 1989
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    The regional map was reproduced with the permission of the Hawaii Geographic Society. Individual country maps were prepared by the Graphics Section of the International Monetary Fund, using national sources and World Bank material. The boundaries shown on these maps do not imply, on the part of the International Monetary Fund, any judgment on the legal status of any territory or any endorsement or acceptance of such boundaries.

    © 1989 International Monetary Fund

    Reprinted January 1990

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    Browne, Christopher, 1944–

    Economic development in seven Pacific island countries. “January 1989.”

    1. Oceania—Economic conditions—Case studies. I. Scott, Douglas A., 1934— II. Title.

    HC681.B76 1989 338.99 88-29660

    ISBN 9781557750358

    Price: US$18.00

    Address orders to:

    International Monetary Fund, Publication Services

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

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    List of Tables

    The following symbols have been used throughout this book:

    • … to indicate that data are not available;
    • — to indicate that the figure is zero or less than half the final digit shown, or that the item does not exist;
    • – between years or months (e.g., 1984–85 or January–June) to indicate the years or months covered, including the beginning and ending years or months;
    • / between years (e.g., 1985/86) to indicate a crop or fiscal (financial) year.

    “Billion” means a thousand million.

    One square kilometer = 0.3861 square mile.

    Minor discrepancies between constituent figures and totals are due to rounding.

    Economic Development in Seven Pacific Island Countries

    Designed and composed by the Composition Unit of the International Monetary Fund.

    The text was set using Linotype Century Old Style and tabular matter was set in Helvetica.

    Cover design by Philip Torsani.

    The cover type is Oliver Bold.

    Printed and bound by Kirby Lithographic Company in Arlington, Virginia, U.S.A.


    The seven Pacific island countries that are members of the International Monetary Fund have made impressive economic progress since attaining independence. Growth has accelerated and living standards have steadily improved. Extensive public investment has strengthened health, education, transport, communication, power, and water facilities. The traditional way of life has been preserved even as the processes of development have created modern institutions and helped to meet changing aspirations. Economic prosperity has generally been attained in politically stable environments.

    Prospects for continued advancement appear favorable. Governments are taking decisive measures to overcome structural impediments to more broadly based and rapid development, including diversification of the productive base, training of skilled workers, and modification of land ownership patterns. They are also expected to pursue cautious and flexible financial policies. However, in view of the island nations’ limited natural resources and the openness of their economies, assurances are needed that world markets will remain open to them and that the assistance programs of major donors will be maintained. The Fund believes that continued strong international support is merited and reaffirms its own commitment to help the member countries of the region meet their development objectives.

    Michel Camdessus

    Managing Director

    International Monetary Fund


    Fund association with the Pacific island economies dates back almost two decades. Initial contacts were with Fiji and Western Samoa, which joined the Fund in 1971. Between 1975 and 1986, membership broadened to include Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tonga, and Kiribati. As with all other members, the Fund has held frequent discussions with policymakers in these countries. The Fund has also provided technical experts on short- and long-term assignments, participated in aid groups and seminars, and has enabled officials to participate in training courses at headquarters in Washington, D.C. The Fund has made financial resources available to these members on numerous occasions, particularly in periods of low export earnings. This close and continuing collaboration has certainly enriched our experience with different national economic situations.

    During the process of working with these countries, it became clear to us that ample information on their economies existed which, if suitably developed and systematically presented, could be of interest to a wide audience. This information is the main source material for this book. The first chapter surveys the history of the Pacific islands in the years leading up to independence and analyzes topical economic issues in a regional perspective. Each of the following seven chapters is a country study that describes geographic and demographic features, outlines the economic structure and institutions, and traces the evolution of the economy. Comprehensive statistics are presented in a manner that is intended to facilitate intercountry comparisons. Medium-term projections are not discussed in detail, because they can quickly become dated. We hope, however, that this volume will help those readers who wish to reflect on the challenges that these nations face as they prepare for the 1990s.

    Many members of the Asian Department staff contributed to this publication. Bruce Smith initiated and shaped the project but was reassigned to another area department before he could implement it. Chris Browne then undertook the work and, with the help and advice of Douglas Scott, saw it through to its conclusion. For both of them, this was certainly a labor of love performed with devotion and perseverance, and the book is largely their work.

    Other colleagues also made substantial contributions. Willem Evers, Padma Gotur, Emine Gürgen, Richard Hemming, Richard Hides, Michio Ishihara, Reza Kibria, Francoise Le Gall, Susan Schadler, and Sukhdev Shah assisted in drafting the country chapters and provided helpful comments on the text. Rosanne Heller edited the many drafts through which the work passed. Amber Martini typed and coordinated the manuscript. Sheila Meehan of the External Relations Department edited and prepared the book for publication. The Graphics Section was responsible for production; Philip Torsani designed the cover and produced the individual country maps. To all of them, sincere thanks are due.

    P. R. Narvekar


    Asian Department

    International Monetary Fund

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