Economic Growth in Forum Island Countries: Lessons of the Past Decade and Challenges and Opportunities Ahead

Satish Chand
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This paper makes three principal claims with respect to the economic performance of 14 Forum Island Countries (FICs) over the decade to 2005. First, the FICs (as a group) have performed below their potential. Second, it is the poor policy-choices rather than the handicaps of smallness and isolation that have been responsible for this poor performance. Third, past experimentation with growth strategies offers several lessons for future policy choices to accelerate the rate of growth of income. Amongst the recommendations are: improving demand for better governance by allowing the public freer access to government information; integrating regional communications through open-skies and open-ports policies for the region; and, regional under-writing of security, both within and across the borders of member states.