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Tuvalu: Economy

Economy Tuvalu
Economy - overview:
Tuvalu consists of a densely populated, scattered group of nine coral atolls with poor soil. The country has no known mineral resources and few exports. Subsistence farming and fishing are the primary economic activities. Fewer than 1,000 tourists, on average, visit Tuvalu annually. Government revenues largely come from the sale of stamps and coins and worker remittances. About 1,000 Tuvaluans work in Nauru in the phosphate mining industry. Nauru has begun repatriating Tuvaluans, however, as phosphate resources decline. Substantial income is received annually from an international trust fund established in 1987 by Australia, NZ, and the UK and supported also by Japan and South Korea. Thanks to wise investments and conservative withdrawals, this Fund has grown from an initial $17 million to over $35 million in 1999. The US government is also a major revenue source for Tuvalu, because of payments from a 1988 treaty on fisheries. In an effort to reduce its dependence on foreign aid, the government is pursuing public sector reforms, including privatization of some government functions and personnel cuts of up to 7%. In 1998, Tuvalu began deriving revenue from use of its area code for "900" lines and in 2000, from the lease of its ".tv" Internet domain name. Royalties from these new technology sources could increase substantially over the next decade. With merchandise exports only a fraction of merchandise imports, continued reliance must be placed on fishing and telecommunications license fees, remittances from overseas workers, official transfers, and investment income from overseas assets.
GDP:
purchasing power parity - $12.2 million (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
3% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $1,100 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%
Population below poverty line:
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
5% (2000 est.)
Labor force:
7,000 (2001 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
people make a living mainly through exploitation of the sea, reefs, and atolls and from wages sent home by those abroad (mostly workers in the phosphate industry and sailors)
Unemployment rate:
NA%
Budget:
revenues: $22.5 million
expenditures: $11.2 million, including capital expenditures of $4.2 million (2000 est.)
Industries:
fishing, tourism, copra
Industrial production growth rate:
NA%
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: NA%
hydro: NA%
nuclear: NA%
other: NA%
Agriculture - products:
coconuts; fish
Exports:
$276,000 f.o.b. (1997)
Exports - commodities:
copra, fish
Exports - partners:
UK 58.3%, Italy 16.7%, Denmark 8.3%, Fiji 8.3% (2002)
Imports:
$7.2 million c.i.f. (1998)
Imports - commodities:
food, animals, mineral fuels, machinery, manufactured goods
Imports - partners:
Hungary 68.2%, Japan 12.9%, Fiji 11.9% (2002)
Debt - external:
$NA
Economic aid - recipient:
$13 million ; note - major donors are Australia, Japan, and the US (1999 est.)
Currency:
Australian dollar (AUD); note - there is also a Tuvaluan dollar
Currency code:
AUD
Exchange rates:
Tuvaluan dollars or Australian dollars per US dollar - 1.8406 (2002), 1.9320 (2001), 1.7173 (2000), 1.5497 (1999), 1.5888 (1998)
Fiscal year:
calendar year

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Source: The CIA World Fact Book 2003

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