Economy of Tuvalu

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Tuvalu > Map Economy

Economy - overview: Tuvalu consists of a densely populated, scattered group of nine coral atolls with poor soil. The country has no known mineral resources and few exports. Subsistence farming and fishing are the primary economic activities. Government revenues largely come from the sale of stamps and coins and worker remittances. About 1,000 Tuvaluans work in Nauru in the phosphate mining industry. Nauru has begun repatriating Tuvaluans, however, as phosphate resources decline. Substantial income is received annually from an international trust fund established in 1987 by Australia, NZ, and the UK and supported also by Japan and South Korea. Thanks to wise investments and conservative withdrawals, this Fund has grown from an initial $17 million to over $35 million in 1999. The US government is also a major revenue source for Tuvalu, with 1999 payments from a 1988 treaty on fisheries at about $9 million, a total which is expected to rise annually. In an effort to reduce its dependence on foreign aid, the government is pursuing public sector reforms, including privatization of some government functions and personnel cuts of up to 7%. In 1998, Tuvalu began deriving revenue from use of its area code for "900" lines and in 2000, from the lease of its ".tv" Internet domain name. Royalties from these new technology sources could raise GDP three or more times over the next decade. In 1999, with merchandise exports falling and financing reaching less than 5% of imports, continued reliance was placed on fishing and telecommunications license fees, remittances from overseas workers, official transfers, and investment income from overseas assets to cover the trade deficit.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $11.6 million (1999 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 3% (1999 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,100 (1999 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.9% (average 1985-93)
Labor force - by occupation: people make a living mainly through exploitation of the sea, reefs, and atolls and from wages sent home by those working abroad (mostly workers in the phosphate industry and sailors)
Budget:
revenues: $4.3 million
expenditures: $4.3 million (1989 est.)
Industries: fishing, tourism, copra
Electricity - production: 3 million kWh (1995)
Electricity - consumption: 3 million kWh (1995)
Agriculture - products: coconuts; fish
Exports: $165,000 (f.o.b., 1989)
Exports - commodities: copra
Exports - partners: Fiji, Australia, NZ
Imports: $4.4 million (c.i.f., 1989)
Imports - commodities: food, animals, mineral fuels, machinery, manufactured goods
Imports - partners: Fiji, Australia, NZ
Economic aid - recipient: $7.9 million (1995); note - substantial annual support from an international trust fund
Currency: 1 Tuvaluan dollar ($T) or 1 Australian dollar ($A) = 100 cents

SOURCE: The World Factbook

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Tuvalu > Map Economy