Economy of Kiribati

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Kiribati > Map Economy History

Economy - overview: A remote country of 33 scattered coral atolls, Kiribati has few national resources. Commercially viable phosphate deposits were exhausted at the time of independence from the United Kingdom in 1979. Copra and fish now represent the bulk of production and exports. The economy has fluctuated widely in recent years. Economic development is constrained by a shortage of skilled workers, weak infrastructure, and remoteness from international markets. Tourism provides more than one-fifth of GDP. The financial sector is at an early stage of development as is the expansion of private sector initiatives. Foreign financial aid, largely from the UK and Japan, is a critical supplement to GDP, equal to 25%-50% of GDP in recent years. Remittances from workers abroad account for more than $5 million each year. Performance in 2000 fell short of the 2.5% growth in 1999, which benefited from increased copra production and exceptionally large revenues from fishing licenses.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $76 million (2000 est.), supplemented by a nearly equal amount from external sources
GDP - real growth rate: 1% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $850 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 14%
industry: 7%
services: 79% (1996 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2% (1999 est.)
Labor force: 7,870 economically active, not including subsistence farmers (1985 est.)
Unemployment rate: 2%; underemployment 70% (1992 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $33.3 million
expenditures: $47.7 million (1996 est.)
Industries: fishing, handicrafts
Industrial production growth rate: 0.7% (1992 est.)
Electricity - production: 7 million kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1999)
Agriculture - products: copra, taro, breadfruit, sweet potatoes, vegetables; fish
Exports: $6 million (f.o.b., 1998)
Exports - commodities: copra 62%, seaweed, fish
Exports - partners: Bangladesh, Australia, US, Hong Kong (1999)
Imports: $44 million (c.i.f., 1999)
Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, miscellaneous manufactured goods, fuel
Imports - partners: Australia, Fiji, Japan, NZ, China (1999)
Debt - external: $10 million (1999 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $15.5 million (1995), largely from UK and Japan
Currency: Australian dollar (AUD)

SOURCE: The World Factbook

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Kiribati > Map Economy History