Summary Of Tuvalu And Its Economic Well Being

2476 words - 10 pages

Summary of Tuvalu and its Economic Well Being
Tuvalu is the world’s fourth smallest country and is lead by Prime Minister Willy Telavi. This country, whose capital is Funafuti, consists of nine tiny islands scattered over 500,000 square miles of the southwestern Pacific Ocean midway between Hawaii and Australia. Comparatively, the area occupied by Tuvalu is about 0.1 times the size of Washington, D.C. (Tuvalu, 2007). This country is a Polynesian island nation which became a full member of the Commonwealth of Nations and subsequently the 189th member of the United Nations in 2000 (Tuvalu, 2007). In this summary, the economic development of Tuvalu will be discussed in terms ...view middle of the document...

Tuvalu also met the Gross National Income (GNI) per capita and the Human Asset Index (HAI) criteria. In response to this possible graduation, the Tuvalu government submitted documentation pleading against consideration of graduation from LDC status due to Tuvalu’s environmental vulnerability. Loss of LDC status will cut current aid assistance which would contribute to an already staggering economic growth. If this graduation is confirmed, implementation of a status change as a developed country would occur in 2015 and all foreign aid would be dramatically reduced. How did Tuvalu get to this point? To understand Tuvalu’s economic journey, there must be knowledge about this country as a whole.
Tuvalu’s LDC status gives rise to the important key factors in this country’s economy. This status is less about the size of the country and more about the management of resources, finances, income, and expenditures. There are several small countries that are able to thrive well economically. For instance, Liechtenstein is a tiny country where people enjoy a standard of living in the upper 20 percent of all countries (Liechtenstein, 2012). Tuvalu’s remoteness, on the other hand, struggles to maintain a decent standard of living because of the lack of economies of scale. The largest single employer in this country is the government. Government jobs on the islands pay a steady wage; however, only 30 percent of the labor force participates in this formal wage economy. The remaining 70 percent mainly work in informal and livelihood activities (Tuvalu, 2011). Tuvalu has almost no suitable drinking water and the thin poor quality soil is barely usable for agriculture. Another challenge that Tuvalu faces is low lying land in which the highest elevation is 16 feet above sea level. Tuvalu is the world’s second lowest lying nation and is particularly vulnerable to impacts from climate changes. The rising sea levels have Tuvaluans scrambling to find new homes as salt water intrusion has made their groundwater undrinkable and increasingly strong hurricanes have devastated shoreline structures (Robinson, 2008). Although Tuvalu’s economic living is extremely simple, there is no extreme poverty. Tuvalu is a non-trading country and has an inability to develop a manufacturing sector to produce exports that earn foreign exchange (United Nations, 2009). This country has almost no natural resources and subsistence is based mainly on intensive use of available limited resources. These limited resources consist of coconuts, fish, taro, pandanus fruit, bananas, and copra which are the only cash crop (Tuvalu, 2007). The main industries are fishing and tourism. However, due to this country’s remoteness, it is difficult to develop a thriving tourist industry which averages only about 1,000 visitors annually. Approximately 1,000 Tuvaluans work as phosphate miners in the rock island of Nauru country. However, because of the decline in phosphate resources,...

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