Improving Growth Prospects in the Pacific

Publication | January 1998

This report examines the role of land and labor markets in ADB's Pacific developing member countries' (PDMCs) economic growth and looks at the best way to mobilize land and labor resources in these countries. The creation of secure individualized land tenure within the context of the widespread communal ownership of land in the Pacific islands is a highly sensitive and difficult issue. The various attempts to create individual freehold and leasehold tenure have not met much success. Different kinds of informal land access arrangements are being proposed or adopted. The report surveys these activities to determine which might provide hope for achieving progress.

The labor markets in the PDMCs are dominated by government employment. Labor productivity is generally low. Thus, the Pacific island countries have difficulty in achieving international competitiveness given their natural disadvantages such as long distances from markets and very small size.