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In 2012, inflows of development partner assistance, the positive effect of the El Niño weather pattern on fish stocks near the equator, and the introduction of a new fishing licensing scheme boosted government revenues and bolstered economic growth in Nauru and other small Pacific island economies.
Phosphate exports from Nauru reached 519,000 tons, the highest annual figure since the country recommenced production in 2007, and contributed strongly to economic growth of 4.9% in fiscal year 2012.
|Selected Economic Indicators (%) - Nauru||2013||2014|
|Gross domestic product (GDP) growth||8.0||8.0|
Current account balance
(share of GDP)
... = data not available.
Source: ADB estimates.
Infrastructure upgrades will likely be the primary drivers of growth over the next 2 years. The September 2012 reopening of the Regional Processing Centre (RPC) in Nauru for asylum seekers attempting to enter Australia without authorization is projected to boost economic growth to 8% in FY2013 and FY2014 through its impact on construction, hotels and accommodation, restaurants, and retail trade, as well as on government finances. The RPC, which currently holds around 400 refugees and directly employs 200 Nauruans in a population of 10,086, is expanding to a capacity of 1,500 asylum seekers. Partial repayment of government salaries in arrears, equivalent to 1.3% of gross domestic product and funded by RPC-related revenues, will likely boost domestic consumption.
Meanwhile, the government expects phosphate production to slow from 519,000 tons in FY2012 to 450,000 tons in FY2013 because of poor weather and disruptions caused by the RPC’s commandeering of mining equipment to clear land for construction. The phosphate industry employs about 700 Nauruans.
Source: ADB. 2013. Asian Development Outlook 2013. Manila.