Environmental Economics & Policies; Economic Theory & Research; Agricultural Research; Free Trade; Public Sector Economics
Summary: With so many of East Asia's economies now poised to leap onto the economic center stage and become full-fledged competitors in the world market the next century has been dubbed the "Century of the Pacific". For the Pacific Island Member Countries (PMC) how best to participate is not so obvious. Geographically remote, divided and small in size and population, these islands face many development challenges. The strength of the PMCs rests in their unique culture, natural beauty, forests and fish. Development opportunities rest primarily in the forestry and fishery industries, as well as obvious tourism promotion. Fiji has recently experienced moderate success in the garment manufacturing industry. Due to the remoteness and favorable cultural and physical environments the population of the PMC have a relatively safe and secure lifestyle. Though safe and secure economic growth has been slow. The authors continually stress through this review that economic development must also be environmentally sustainable development. The authors suggest a need to change course and rely on more effective private and public investment oriented growth strategies. Change is deemed as necessary because of external vulnerability and rising demands for modern goods and services within the PMCs. An outward oriented investment-led growth strategy is needed. Achieving such a strategy would depend on evolving a more effective development partnership between the state and the private sector. In such a partnership, the state should focus on ensuring macroeconomic stability and competitiveness, creating a more enabling regulatory framework, providing economic and social infrastructure and reducing its role in the productive and service sectors. This environment would provide the private sector with the impetus to save and invest in the productive sectors, creating a ripple effect of increased production and employment growth.
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