Economy of the Falkland Islands

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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.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $52 million (FY95/96 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 1% (FY95/96 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $19,000 (FY95/96 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.6% (1998)
Labor force: 1,100 (est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 95% (mostly sheepherding and fishing)
Unemployment rate: full employment; labor shortage
Budget:
revenues:  $66.2 million
expenditures:  $67.9 million, including capital expenditures of $23.2 million (FY98/99 est.)
Industries: wool and fish processing; sale of stamps and coins
Electricity - production: 12 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1999)
Agriculture - products: fodder and vegetable crops; sheep, dairy products
Exports: $7.6 million (1995)
Exports - commodities: wool, hides, meat
Exports - partners: UK, Japan
Imports: $24.7 million (1995)
Imports - commodities: fuel, food and drink, building materials, clothing
Imports - partners: UK, Japan
Economic aid - recipient: $1.7 million (1995)
Currency: Falkland pound (FKP)

SOURCE: The World Factbook

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Falkland Islands > Map Economy