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Vanuatu Economy
Economy - overview:
This South Pacific island economy is based primarily on small-scale agriculture, which provides a living for 65% of the population. Fishing, offshore financial services, and tourism, with about 50,000 visitors in 1997, are other mainstays of the economy. Mineral deposits are negligible; the country has no known petroleum deposits. A small light industry sector caters to the local market. Tax revenues come mainly from import duties. Economic development is hindered by dependence on relatively few commodity exports, vulnerability to natural disasters, and long distances from main markets and between constituent islands. A severe earthquake in November 1999 followed by a tsunami, caused extensive damage to the northern island of Pentecote and left thousands homeless. Another powerful earthquake in January 2002 caused extensive damage in the capital, Port-Vila, and surrounding areas, and also was followed by a tsunami. GDP growth rose less than 3% on average in the 1990s. In response to foreign concerns, the government has promised to tighten regulation of its offshore financial center. In mid-2002 the government stepped up efforts to boost tourism. Agriculture, especially livestock farming, is a second target for growth. Australia and New Zealand are the main suppliers of tourists and foreign aid. Growth expanded moderately in 2003.
GDP:
purchasing power parity - $563 million (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
-0.3% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $2,900 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 26%
industry: 12%
services: 62% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
NA
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA
highest 10%: NA
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
NA
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 65%, industry 5%, services 30% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate:
NA
Budget:
revenues: $94.4 million
expenditures: $99.8 million, including capital expenditures of $30.4 million (1996 est.)
Industries:
food and fish freezing, wood processing, meat canning
Industrial production growth rate:
1% (1997 est.)
Electricity - production:
43.46 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
40.42 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
600 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Agriculture - products:
copra, coconuts, cocoa, coffee, taro, yams, coconuts, fruits, vegetables; fish, beef
Exports:
$79 million f.o.b. (2002)
Exports - commodities:
copra, beef, cocoa, timber, kava, coffee
Exports - partners:
India 30.8%, Thailand 23.4%, Indonesia 9.3%, South Korea 9.3%, Japan 7.5% (2003 est.)
Imports:
$138 million c.i.f. (2002)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, fuels
Imports - partners:
Australia 20.5%, Japan 14.3%, Singapore 9.9%, New Zealand 8.1%, Fiji 6.8%, India 5%, New Caledonia 5% (2003 est.)
Debt - external:
$65.8 million (2001 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$45.8 million (1995)
Currency:
vatu (VUV)
Currency code:
VUV
Exchange rates:
vatu per US dollar - 122.189 (2003), 139.198 (2002), 145.312 (2001), 137.643 (2000), 129.075 (1999)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
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