Resource rich economies dwarf the region, ADB conference told

The Pacific Update Conference at the University of the South Pacific today. Image: Peter Solo Kinjap

By Peter Solo Kinjap in Suva

The resource rich economies in the Pacific have dwarfed the entire region’s economic performance and slowing its growth, Emma Veve, Director (Pacific) of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), said today.

Speaking at the opening of the 2016 Pacific Update Conference in Suva, Fiji, Veve said that while Pacific economic performance overall was steady, smaller island nations bucked the trend with tourism but were being dwarfed by resource-driven economies within the region.

ADB Director Edimon Ginting said the environment was still a key to the economy and the people’s wellbeing and tourism was essentially linked to agriculture.

Ginting said this generated income and sustainability. Fiji was a service sector economy with tailoring, tourism and agriculture, he said.

Fiji’s Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said Fiji was happy to host the Update Conference. The minister acknowledged the contribution and participation of the University of South Pacific (USP), Australian National University (ANU), ADB Institute and ADB to facilitate the conference.

200 participants
He officiated at the two-day conference at the University of South Pacific’s Laucala Campus with more than 200 academics, policy-makers and development practitioners attending.

Presenters were from Australia, Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI), Samoa, Solomon Island and Vanuatu.

The meeting will continue tomorrow with the following topics to be discussed and debated: labour market development and remittances, sovereign wealth and public trust funds, information and communication technology and health and non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

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