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ALOFI, Niue (May 2, 2000 - Niue Economic Review/PINA Nius Online)---The NPP-led government's first attempt at a major project -- Coral Air -- has crashed . . . a costly smoldering wreck. But that has not deterred the nation's leaders from proposing more massive economic expansion.

Niue (pop: 1,700) now awaits developments in a second series of Think Big projects announced by the Premier, Sani Lakatani, before he departed on an overseas trip to Japan and Thailand.

The first series of Think Big projects included Coral Air, the Lord Liverpool University, a 3,000 acre nonu and herbal medicine orchard; a NZ$ 50 million golf course for Avatele and a NZ$ 300 million Cyber City with promised returns of NZ $500,000 per month in royalties beginning July of this year.

(NOTE: US$ 1.00 = NZ $ 0.4892)

In a speech to the Legislative Assembly before winging off to the PALM 2000 Japan Conference and an Asian Development Bank meeting in Thailand, the Premier unveiled the latest list of projects which appear to be dominated by Korean money. They included:

But the proposals have been labeled "unrealistic pipe dreams" by many in the island's private sector. There's a feeling among business folk that government should be setting itself achievable goals rather than exaggerating the island's capabilities and overseas investors interests.

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