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12/18/2009 added a new report on "Finding Hidden Potential In The South Pacific" discusses how the current economic downturn will affect it.

Online PR News – 18-December-2009 – – Finding Hidden Potential In The South Pacific

This Report examining the economic and political outlook for the Pacific island states over the coming years. The report covers Australia, New Zealand, East Timor, Fiji, Kiribati, Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu. It identifies key economic, political, security, and environmental factors facing each state, and outlines long-term challenges that the South Pacific needs to address to reduce the region’s vulnerability to exogenous shocks. ( )

This Special Report draws upon the expertise of Asia Country Risk analysts to provide a further geographical dimension to our Country Risk service. The report begins with an overview of the South Pacific region, and discusses how the current economic downturn will affect it. Each Pacific state has its own country chapter, with economic data tables covering the period 2000-2010. The report also includes 10-year economic forecasts for Australia and New Zealand (the dominant influences in the region), and China (whose influence in the South Pacific is rising), as well as latest Global Assumptions. Beyond the recession, the report identifies the long-term challenges facing a fluid and highly volatile, but largely-underreported part of the world.
Executive Summary

Finding Hidden Potential In The South Pacific

Although the Pacific Islands have not been directly exposed to the current global economic crisis, they have felt the second round effects emanating from the developed world. Revenues from the key commodity sector have fallen in line with global trends, while there are indications that tourist numbers are down and remittances from workers overseas have been falling. Tackling these cyclical problems has been made difficult by structural problems including high current account deficits, poor governmental structures, a weak security framework and ethnic tensions within many states. Amid these problems, however, we have identified two key areas in which the region could boast significant economic potential, and two further geopolitical factors which may add to regional stability in the long term.

Commodity Riches: Aside from the region’s potential to move further up the agribusiness value chain, there are still major opportunities in mining and energy in Papua New Guinea and East Timor. Provided these states manage to avoid the ‘commodity curse’, there is potential for high levels of investment and stronger consumer spending over the coming years.

Niche Tourism: Fiji has long been the regional leader in the tourism sector, but there is still plenty of potential for other states within the region to develop. This is likely to be concentrated at the ‘niche’, rather than mass, end of the market.

The Rise of China: The region is already heavily tied to the economic cycles of Australia, New Zealand and the US. Strong real GDP growth in China - and higher development aid flows - offer the potential for another regional anchor to emerge, which will offer opportunities for the commodity and tourism sectors.

Australia’s Regional Role: Australia has started to take a more pro-active role in ensuring political stability in the South Pacific Region. We view this as a positive, given the potential structural and aid benefits it can bring with it. This is likely to be tied towards a long-term move towards stronger democratic institutions, even though this journey is likely to be very bumpy indeed.

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