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First draft Kiribati mid-term review/progress on implementation of the Brussels POA of LDCs (2001-2010) : "Expert group meeting, 14-16 February 2006, Phnom Penh
Island and Ocean Ecosystems
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Government of Kiribati

2006
Kibarti is a small country in the central Pacific comprised of 33 low-lying atolls barely 2-3 meters high above sea level. The population of 84,494 (2000 Census) is mainly young that lives on a total land area of 810sq. km a vast ocean area of 3.5 million sq.km. The country has limited physical resources and relies heavily on fish and copra as the mainstay of the economy. Economic growth is thereby only 2-3 percent (real GDP) per annum on average driven mainly from the copra sector, construction, wholesale/retail, and government administration. Gratefully, growth is underpinned by foreign earnings and ODA from government and international financial institutions. The former comprises net factor income from abroad thaqt includes returns from the reserve fund and other foreign reserves, remittances, and fishing license fees. Government is the major provider of cash employment (2 out of every 3 employees) that contributes significantly to a relatively high level of its current budget each year. Fiscal policy is therby the major policy instrument of government as the use of the Australian currency precludes monetary policy and likewise the lack of export and other economic and geographical disadvantages prevent trade and other related policies. Given such economic and physical disadvantages and also the volatilities/vulnerabilities of some economic strengths already mentioned, Kiribati definitely cannot live and develop o its own but truly needs to be party to development at a regional and international levels.