- Economy of the Federated States of Micronesia
The economic activity of the
Federated States of Micronesiaconsists primarily of subsistence agricultureand fishing. The islands have few mineraldeposits worth exploiting, except for high-grade phosphate. The potential for a tourist industry exists, but the remoteness of the location and a lack of adequate facilities hinder development. Financial assistance from the US is the primary source of revenue, with the US pledged to spend $1.3 billion in the islands in 1986-2001. Geographical isolation and a poorly developed infrastructure are major impediments to long-term growth.
Under the terms of the
Compact of Free Association, the United Statesprovided FSM with around $2 billion in grants and services from 1986 to 2001. The Compact's financial terms are being renegotiated for an extension period. In 2001 the U.S. provided more than $84 million in Compact grants--an amount equivalent to over one-third of FSM's GDP--plus more than $20 million through other federal programs. Total official development assistance from all sources was more than $100 million in 2001, with nearly 90% of that total coming from the U.S.
public sectorplays a central role in the economy as the administrator of the Compact money. The national and state-level governments employ over one-half of the country's workers and provide services accounting for more than 40%of GDP. Faced with the potential decrease or cessation of some of the assistance programs upon the Compact's financial provisions' expiry in 2001, the Government of the FSM in 1996 began to implement a program of economic reforms designed to reduce the role of the public sector in the economy.
The fishing industry is highly important. Foreign commercial fishing fleets pay over $20 million annually for the right to operate in FSM territorial waters. These licensing fees account for nearly 30% of domestic budgetary revenue. Additionally, exports of marine products, mainly reexports of fish to Japan, account for nearly 85% of export revenue.
The tourist industry is present but has been hampered by a lack of infrastructure. Visitor attractions include scuba diving in each state, World War II battle sites, and the ancient ruined city of
Nan Madolon Pohnpei. Some 15,000 tourists visit the islands each year. The Asian Development Bankhas identified tourism as one of FSM's highest potential growth industries.
Farming is mainly subsistence, and its importance is declining. The principal crops are coconuts, bananas, betel nuts, cassava, and sweet potatoes. Less than 10% of the formal labor force and less than 7% of export revenue come from the agriculture sector. Manufacturing activity is modest, consisting mainly of a garment factory in
Yapand production of buttons from trochusshells.
Taxation and trade
The large inflow of official assistance to FSM allows it to run a substantial trade deficit and to have a much lighter tax burden than other states in the region (11% of GDP in FSM compared to 18%-25% elsewhere). The government also borrowed against future Compact disbursements in the early 1990s, yielding an external debt of $111 million in 1997 (over 50% of GDP).
There are no
patentlaws in Micronesia. [http://www.billanderson.com.au/Gazetteer-Patents.htm]
GDP:purchasing power parity - $277 million (2002 est.)
"note:"GDP is supplemented by grant aid, averaging perhaps $100 million annually
GDP - real growth rate:1% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:purchasing power parity - $3 900 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
"services:"46% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:26.7%
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Inflation rate (consumer prices):2% (2002 est.)
Labor force:37,410 (2000)
Labor force - by occupation:two-thirds are government employees
Unemployment rate:22% (1999 estimate)
"revenues:"$127.3 million ($69 million less grants
"expenditures:"$144.2 million; including capital expenditures of $17.9 million (FY05 est.)
fish processing, craft items from shell, wood, and pearls
Industrial production growth rate:NA%
Electricity - production:192 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - consumption:178.6 million kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports:0 kWh (2002)
Electricity - imports:0 kWh (2002)
Agriculture - products:
black pepper, tropical fruits and vegetables, coconuts, cassava( tapioca), sweet potatoes; pigs, chickens
Exports:$22 million (f.o.b., FY99/2000 est.)
Exports - commodities:fish, garments,
bananas, black pepper
Exports - partners:
Japan, United States, Guam(2004)
Imports:$82.5 million f.o.b. (FY99/00 est.)
Imports - commodities:food, manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, beverages
Imports - partners:US, Australia, Japan (2004)
Debt - external:$53,1 million (FY02/03 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:$79 million (1998); note - under terms of the Compact of Free Association, the US will provide $1.3 billion in grant aid during the period 1986-2001
United States dollar(US$) = 100 cents
Exchange rates:US currency is used
1 October- 30 September
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