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Tuvalu:
Economy

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Tuvalu Page


Economy - overview
Definition
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. Job opportunities are scarce and public sector workers make up the majority of those employed. About 15% of the adult male population work as seamen on merchant ships abroad and remittances are a vital source of income, contributing around $4 million in 2006. Substantial income is received annually from the Tuvalu Trust Fund (TTF), 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 grew from an initial $17 million to an estimated value of $77 million in 2006. The TFF contributed nearly $9 million towards the government budget in 2006 and is an important cushion for meeting shortfalls in the government's budget. The US Government is also a major revenue source for Tuvalu because of payments from a 1988 treaty on fisheries. In an effort to ensure financial stability and sustainability, the government is pursuing public sector reforms, including privatization of some government functions and personnel cuts. Tuvalu also derives royalties from the lease of its ".tv" Internet domain name, with revenue of more than $2 million in 2006. A minor source of government revenue comes from the sale of stamps and coins. 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 income from overseas investments. Growing income disparities and the vulnerability of the country to climatic change are among leading concerns for the nation.
GDP (purchasing power parity)
Definition - World rank and map
$14.94 million (2002 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)
Definition
$14.94 million (2002)
GDP - real growth rate
Definition - World rank and map
3% (2006 est.)
GDP - per capita
Definition - World rank and map
$1,600 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
Definition
agriculture: 16.6%
industry: 27.2%
services: 56.2% (2002)
Labor force
Definition
3,615 (2004 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
Definition
note: 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
Definition - World rank and map
NA%
Population below poverty line
Definition
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share
Definition
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
Definition - World rank and map
3.8% (2006 est.)
Budget
Definition
revenues: $21.54 million
expenditures: $23.05 million (2006)
Agriculture - products
Definition
coconuts; fish
Industries
Definition
fishing, tourism, copra
Industrial production growth rate
Definition - World rank and map
NA%
Current account balance
Definition - World rank and map
-$11.68 million (2003)
Exports
Definition - World rank and map
$1 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities
Definition
copra, fish
Exports - partners
Definition
Germany 60.5%, Italy 20.1%, Fiji 6.9% (2006)
Imports
Definition - World rank and map
$12.91 million c.i.f. (2005)
Imports - commodities
Definition
food, animals, mineral fuels, machinery, manufactured goods
Imports - partners
Definition
Fiji 46.1%, Japan 18.9%, China 18.2%, Australia 7.7%, NZ 4.1% (2006)
Debt - external
Definition - World rank and map
$NA
Economic aid - recipient
Definition
$10.49 million
note: includes distributions from the Tuvalu Trust Fund (2006)
Currency (code)
Definition
Australian dollar (AUD); note - there is also a Tuvaluan dollar
Exchange rates
Definition
Tuvaluan dollars or Australian dollars per US dollar - 1.2137 (2007), 1.3285 (2006), 1.3095 (2005), 1.3598 (2004), 1.5419 (2003)
Fiscal year
Definition
calendar year


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