|Economy - overview: The economy was formerly based on
agriculture, mainly sheep farming, but today fishing contributes the bulk
of economic activity. In 1987 the government began selling fishing
licenses to foreign trawlers operating within the Falklands exclusive
fishing zone. These license fees total more than $40 million per year,
which goes to support the island's health, education, and welfare system.
Squid accounts for 75% of the fish taken. Dairy farming supports domestic
consumption; crops furnish winter fodder. Exports feature shipments of
high-grade wool to the United
Kingdom and the sale of postage stamps and coins. To encourage
tourism, the Falkland Islands Development Corporation has built three
lodges for visitors attracted by the abundant wildlife and trout fishing.
The islands are now self-financing except for defense. The British
Geological Survey announced a 200-mile oil exploration zone around the
islands in 1993, and early seismic surveys suggest substantial reserves
capable of producing 500,000 barrels per day; to date no exploitable site
has been identified. An agreement between Argentina and the UK in 1995
seeks to defuse licensing and sovereignty conflicts that would dampen
foreign interest in exploiting potential oil reserves.
purchasing power parity - $52 million (FY95/96 est.)
SOURCE: The World Factbook
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