Pacific Can 'Take The Helm' in Responding to Crisis, Says Study

BALI, INDONESIA - Pacific island nations need to respond proactively to the global economic crisis, says a new book released by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The book, titled Taking the Helm - A Policy Brief on a Response to the Global Economic Crisis, looks at the challenges faced by 14 nations in the Pacific.

ADB forecasts that economic growth in the Pacific will slow to 3% in 2009, and 2.7% in 2010, as the impact of the global economic crisis takes its toll. Some economies are forecast to contract as tourism and remittances slow. Pressure on the vulnerable members of communities is likely to grow.

"It may take until 2011 for Pacific economies to begin to recover from the crisis," says S. Hafeez Rahman, Director General of ADB's Pacific Department, who unveiled the book at the ADB's 42nd Annual Meeting in Bali. "A one-size-fits-all response won't work in the Pacific and this policy brief aims to support efforts by Pacific developing member countries to assess and formulate country-specific responses to the global downturn."

The ADB study analyzes the likely impacts of the global economic crisis on the Pacific, and options to mitigate the adverse impacts. It identifies as a priority preventative actions that help protect the delivery of essential public services.

The study notes that development partners have an important role to play in helping Pacific economies through the global crisis. ADB's assistance will focus on monitoring, analytic and policy work, capacity building, budget support, and donor collaboration.