|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
Seafares trained at the TMTI are by far the most important source of remittances to the islands. These remittances are the major part of household income, financing dwelling construction, school fees, business investment, and consumption and are a valuable source of fforeign exchange. About 600 graduates of the TMTI are currently employed in seafaring activities. The annual overseas earnings of seafares are about A$10 million, comprising cash remittances (about A$5 million), imports (about A$2 million), and overseas spending (about A$3 million). The A$7 million income to Tuvalu from seafares to Tuvalu is significant compared with the annual gross domestic product of about A$18 million. Moreover, seafare income is distributed evenly among the islands and is a critical source of income for the outer islands, which are dominated by subsistence activity.
The general framework for ADB s country strategy for Tuvalu is spelled out in the Pacific Strategy (A Pacific Strategy for the New Millenium, 2000). It focuses on five broad strategic objectives by supporting (i) economic management, governance, and public sector reform, (ii) private sector development, (iii) promotion of a more active role for women in social, economic, and political spheres, (iv) sustainable environmental management, and (v) poverty reduction. The strategy aims to foster equitable growth through the Three Pillars of Growth of the ADB s Poverty Strategy: good governance, inclusive social development, and pro-poor economic growth.
The medium-term development strategy (MTDS) for 1995-1998, with its amendment Tuvalu Vision 2015, was the basic Government strategy document, pending the formulation of a new MTDS. Of the five priority programs in the MTDS (i) public sector reforms, (ii) improvement of economic infrastructure, especially interisland shipping and telecommunication, (iii) Education For Life aimed at raising standards of education and training, (iv) encouragement of export-oriented business investment (while encouraging overseas employment), and (v) upgrading of human settlement, the first four area were reiterated in the State of the Nation Address in February 2002, and emphasis on greater self-reliance for the outer islands and reduction of poverty were included as Government s priorities.