World Bank's 'Pacific Possible' Initiatives To Boost Economic Growth

Potential revenue gains in some countries called 'substantial'

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Oct. 12, 2017) – The World Bank is convinced that its Pacific Possible PP initiatives will boost economic growth in the Pacific Island Countries PIC over the next 25 years.

The World Bank on March 24 launched its report, the Pacific Possible PP “assessing transformative opportunities to boost economic growth in the Pacific over the next 25 years.”

Pacific Possible quantitatively assesses the extent to which exploiting available economic opportunities – in tourism, labor mobility, fisheries, and the knowledge economy – could lead to significantly higher incomes, employment and government revenue in 2040 in each of the Pacific Island countries, the World Bank stated in its East Asia and Pacific Economic Update October 2017.  

The PP interventions could potentially have a significant impact on the PICs’ ability to finance the public spending needed to achieve their human development target, which according to human development indicators  remain relatively low due to low levels of public spending.

The Pacific Possible interventions could improve the capacity of PICs to increase public expenditure and boosting government revenues in two ways. First, PPfisheries interventions are projected to directly increase the fishing license fees accruing to PIC governments.

Second, interventions in each of the four areas – tourism, labor mobility, fisheries, and the knowledge economy – are projected to boost GDP and hence the tax base in each of the PICs, which leads to higher revenues.

In percentage terms, the largest revenue increases in 2040 are in countries that stand to gain the most from higher fisheries income, namely Kiribati, the Federated States of Micronesia, and Tuvalu.

Nevertheless, the potential revenue increases are also substantial in other countries – including Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Palau.

Tourism has become an increasingly important contributor to export revenue for many countries in the region. Tourism generated US$214 billion in export revenue for developing East Asia and Pacific Islands counties EAP in 2015, accounting for 6.4 percent of the region’s total exports.

The EAP region is made up of 11 East Asian countries, three Pacific Island Countries and seven Small Pacific Islands. They are: Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Timor-leste, Vietnam, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.

The seven Small Pacific Islands PICs are: the Federated States of Micronesia, FSM; Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, and Tonga.

Matangi Tonga Magazine
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