Economy of Solomon Islands
A per capita GDP of $3,200 ranks Solomon Islands as a lesser developed nation. Over 75% of its labour force is engaged in subsistence farming and fishing.SectorsCash crops
Important cash crops and exports include copra and palm oil. Gold
In 1998 gold production began at Gold Ridge on Guadalcanal. Fishing
Exploitation of Solomon Islands rich fisheries offers the best prospect for further export and domestic economic expansion. A Japanese joint venture, Solomon Taiyo Ltd., which operated the only fish cannery in the country, closed in mid-2000 as a result of the ethnic disturbances. Though the plant has reopened under local management, the export of tuna has not resumed.Tourism
Tourism, particularly diving, is an important service industry for Solomon Islands. Growth in tourism is hampered by lack of infrastructure, transportation limitations and security concerns.Foreign aid
Since 2000 the Government of Solomon Islands has become increasingly insolvent. It has exhausted its borrowing capacity; in 2001 the deficit reached 8% of GDP. It is unable to meet bi-weekly payrolls and has become extraordinarily dependent on funds from foreign aid accounts, which provided an estimated 50% of government expenditure in 2001. Principal aid donors are Australia $247 Million per year (2006), New Zealand $14 Million per year (2004), the European Union, Japan $40 Million per year (2005), and the Republic of China (Taiwan) At least $20 Million per year. Energy
A team of renewable energy developers working for the Pacific Islands Applied Geo-science Commission (SOPAC) and funded by the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), have hatched a scheme that enables these communities to access renewable energy, such as solar, without raising substantial sums of ready cash. If the islanders were not able to pay for solar lanterns with cash, reasoned the project developers, they can pay with crops.
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