Pacific economies

PACER deal will hurt Pacific, strengthen China - analyst

On Wednesday, New Zealand became the first country to ratify the PACER Plus agreement, which Australia and nine Pacific Island countries have signed.

Cleo Paskal, of the global think tank Chatham House, said enforced free trade will undermine customary land holding and social capital systems in the Pacific.

She said once those economies are weakened, China will pick up the pieces.

Growth of Pacific economies likely to be less than forecast

The Asian Development Bank is predicting just over one percent growth down from a forecast 2.2 percent in April.

After the Hela quake, liquefied natural gas production in the region's biggest economy is forecast to be down at least ten percent on 2017 levels.

LNG accounts for 14 percent of Papua New Guinea's earnings.

But the bank says strong logging and mining has improved the outlook for Solomon Islands and fishing license revenue has done the same for Tuvalu.

Nauru also sees an improved growth forecast for the year to 3.8 percent.

Pacific looks to improve links with Asian economies

The ministers, from Pacific Islands Forum member countries, have been discussing issues critical to improving development in the Pacific.

One of these is to work out how to make use of the wealth they have within the region to help finance development.

The concept of a regional finance facility has been floated for the past two years but a firm decision is yet to be made.

And the Forum's trade commissioner to China, David Morris, said there had been a lot of discussion on the need to engage with China and other key Asian economies.

Volatile growth outlook for Pacific: World Bank

RNZ reports the "Reducing Vulnerabilities" report predicts a stable growth outlook for East Asia and the Pacific up until 2018.

But it says the Pacific countries are particularly vulnerable given their small economies which are susceptible to external shocks from the global economy as well as from the high risk of natural disasters in the region.

Pacific Economic growth slowed by fiscal, disaster related challenges

ADB’s flagship annual economic publication, Asian Development Outlook 2016, projects that Pacific economies will grow by an average 3.8% in 2016, down from 7.0% last year, mainly due to pressures faced by Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Fiji—the region’s largest economies.