Cook Islands and ADB
In the Spotlight
The Cook Islands’ dependence on fossil fuels will be reduced under a project to build solar-powered plants on six of its islands, funded by ADB, the European Union, and the Government of Cook Islands.
For almost half a century, ADB has been partnering with Pacific developing countries to help them grow and prosper. ADB has scaled up its assistance in the Pacific to more than $2 billion by the end of 2014 from about $500 million in 2004. The vast majority of this support goes into building infrastructure.
ADB-wide sovereign approvals in the Pacific has risen substantially since 2010, reaching almost $1.8 billion in 2013. ADB is assessing and updating the Pacific Approach, which will continue to guide its operations in the region.
This country brief highlights how ADB operations have helped the Cook Islands weather cyclones and fiscal crises, and contribute to stable economic and social infrastructure.
The Cook Islands boasts one of the best-performing economies in the Pacific islands. With a high standard of health care and education, the country is on track to achieve its Millennium Development Goals by 2015. However, the economy remains heavily reliant on tourism, which accounts for approximately 60% of revenues. Officially being citizens of New Zealand, Cook Islanders are free to move to New Zealand and Australia, and expatriation has contributed to a declining population, affecting almost all of the country’s social and economic sectors.
The country operations business plan (COBP), 2015-2017 for the Cook Islands focuses on infrastructure development, renewable energy and energy efficiency, information and communication technology, public sector management, private sector participation, and capacity development.