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Economy of Falkland Islands (Malvinas)

The economy of the Falkland Islands, which first involved sealing, whaling and provisioning ships, became heavily dependent on sheep farming from the 1870s to 1980. It then diversified and now has income from tourism, commercial fishing, and servicing the fishing industry as well as agriculture. The islands use the Falkland pound, which is backed by sterling.



The Falkland Islands do not have a central bank but the Standard Chartered Bank has a single branch in Stanley that offers retail, commercial and wholesale banking facilities.

The constitution requires the governor of the islands to seek the approval of a [British] secretary of state before assenting to any bill that affects "the currency of the Falkland Islands or relating to the issue of banknotes" or any bill that establishes "any banking association or altering the constitution, rights or duties of any such association". These restrictions effectively give the British Government the ability to prevent the island's government from declaring the islands to be a tax haven or from establishing a central bank.


Farmland accounts for a little over 80% of the Falklands land area and a sheep appears on the islands' coat of arms, but agriculture is now less than 2% of the economy. As of 2007 670,000 sheep resided on the islands; a 2011 report estimated the sheep population at over one million. Roughly 40% of the national flock are on West Falkland and 60% on East Falkland. The base flock areCorriedale and Polwarth breeds with Dohne Merino, South African Meat Merinos, Afrinos and other breeds having been introduced to improve the fineness of wool and meat characteristics. The wool price suffered a slump in 2005/6 and a peak in 2008. Since 2003 the relative premium commanded by higher quality wool has increased with coarser wool missing out on the high prices in 2008.


Fishing is the largest part of the economy. Although Lord Shackleton's Report (1982) recommended the setting up of a 200-nautical-mile (370 km; 230 mi) fisheries limit which gave an impetus to the fishing industry, the report did not go into much detail regarding the expansion of the industry. The Falkland Islands Development Corporation which formed as a result of the Shackleton Report provided the impetus for the Falkland Islands to exploit their marine environment.


Tourism is the second-largest part of the economy. In 1982, an average of only 500 tourists visited the Falklands per annum but by 2007, this figure had grown to 55,000 and the Falkland Islands Tourist Board hired its first tourism director that year. In 2010, the transport and hospitality sector was expected to contribute 7.8 million or 7.7% of the island's GDP. Tourism forms a significant part of this figure with land-based visitors expected to contribute 2.7 million to the Islands' economy in 2010. The islands have become a regular port of call for the growing market of cruise ships toAntarctica and elsewhere in the South Atlantic. Attractions include the scenery and wildlife conservation including 1,000,000 penguins, seabirds, seals, and sea lions, as well as visits to battlefields,golf, fishing and wreck diving. In addition to accommodation in Stanley, there are tourist lodges at Port Howard, Darwin, Pebble Island, Carcass Island, and Sea Lion Island. Self-catering accommodation at holiday cottages on island farms. The total contribution of tourism to the Islands' is expected to reach 5.4 million in 2010.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Economy Of Falkland Islands (Malvinas)"

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