Niue and ADB
ADB’s Pacific Approach, 2021-2025 guides operational responses in Niue, focusing on preparing and responding to shocks, delivering sustainable services, and supporting inclusive growth.
Niue is one of the world’s smallest countries, with a land area of 259 square kilometers and an estimated population of 1,862 people in 2019. Fiscal discipline, paired with large and predictable inflows of overseas development assistance, have helped provide macroeconomic stability for the Government of Niue. Travel restrictions associated with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic have had profound impacts on the country’s tourism-dependent economy.
Niue faces significant barriers to sustainable socioeconomic development. Although access to basic services and per capita incomes are relatively high, structural vulnerabilities—stemming from a narrow economic base, elevated cost structures given remoteness, and disaster risks—result in persistent development challenges.
Niue became the 68th and most recent member of ADB in 2019. To date, ADB has committed 2 public sector grants and technical assistance totaling $4.3 million to Niue. Cumulative grant disbursements to Niue amount to $500,000, financed by ADB’s special funds. ADB’s ongoing sovereign portfolio in Niue includes 1 grant worth $500,000.
In March 2019, ADB approved its first technical assistance project in Niue to help improve the country’s public financial management. Through this ongoing assistance, ADB recruited an economist in 2022 to supplement the capacity of Niue’s Treasury Department for economic monitoring and analysis. The technical assistance also financed Niue’s 2021 Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability self-assessment, which in turn informed the country’s public financial management reform plan. ADB is currently supporting the implementation of this plan, while also providing assistance to the government statistician.
ADB supported a pre-feasibility study to address operational and safety issues at the Alofi Wharf, Niue’s main port, and at the boat ramps in Avatele and Namukulu. The study provided the groundwork for improvements to the wharf and boat ramps, which will enhance regional connectivity and the climate resilience of Niue’s maritime assets. ADB anticipates providing additional support for an ensuing feasibility study.
In 2022, ADB commenced its assessment of Niue’s electricity system and energy sector plans to validate and make recommendations for ADB’s engagement in the country’s energy sector.
Niue benefits from regional technical assistance in line with the Pacific Approach, 2021–2025, including water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) activities. Following a rapid WASH needs assessment, a national WASH sector coordinator is helping government with implementation, including the development of a water safety plan and localized WASH campaign. In 2022, ADB analyzed Niue’s social protection indicators and prepared a report providing government with policy-relevant information on the social protection programs and their coverage and improving national capacity to manage these programs.
The Pacific Regional Infrastructure Facility is assisting in the preparation of Niue’s National Infrastructure Investment Plan 2030 and to build government capacity in national infrastructure planning and management. The Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative assistance to Niue focuses on assessing the feasibility of a national superannuation scheme for Niue, strengthening the Niue Development Bank, and supporting the Ministry of Finance to review the company law and develop an online business registry.
Operational Challenges. Niue has experienced significant population decline due to outmigration, resulting in acute labor shortages, particularly in the tourism sector. The government is seeking to attract Niueans back to the island, while reviewing options to increase employer access to skilled labor in tourism and hospitality, such as through seasonal worker programs.
Niue has identified a significant pipeline of infrastructure investments, including upgrades and repairs to its roads, airport runway, and wharf. The combined value of these investments is equivalent to more than 200% of its gross domestic product.
Niue participates in ADB’s regional conferences and training programs to access regional best practices and improve the capabilities of its development practitioners. The country also benefits from regional technical assistance projects covering areas such as public sector management, private sector development, and infrastructure development.
ADB brings added value beyond its role in project financing. It acts as a knowledge broker by helping its members engage in regional issues, including climate change and ocean health. ADB publishes knowledge products on macroeconomic forecasting and public sector management in its Asian Development Outlook and Pacific Economic Monitor. The December 2022 edition of the economic monitor explored how ADB members in the Pacific could strengthen their post-pandemic social protection systems to help address long-standing development concerns and boost resilience to further shocks.
Financing partnerships enable ADB’s financing partner governments or their agencies, multilateral financing institutions, and private organizations to participate in financing ADB projects. The additional funds provided may be in the form of loans and grants, technical assistance, and nonsovereign cofinancing.
Number of Shares Held
150 (0.001% of total shares)
39,264 (0.295% of total membership, 0.453% of total regional membership)
*Overall capital subscription
*Paid-in capital subscription
* United States dollar figures are valued at rate as of 31 December 2022.
ADB Governor: Dalton Emani Makamau Tagelagi
ADB Alternate Governor: Wayne McCaughan
ADB Director: Arif Baharudin (Indonesia)
ADB Alternate Director: Karen Murray (New Zealand)
ADB Director’s Advisors: Anushik Avetyan (Armenia) and Mohammed Jabid (Fiji)
Niue and ADB are in the early stages of developing an investment and technical assistance pipeline. The partnership will initially focus on leveraging regional technical assistance to determine critical areas for ADB investments such as in renewable energy, in building resilience to disasters caused by natural hazards, and in mitigating the impacts of climate change. It will also build government capacity to prepare for and implement such projects.
Last updated: 2 May 2023
Pacific Subregional Office
Regional Director: Aaron Batten
Level 5, Ra Marama Building
91 Gordon Street, Suva, Fiji
Tel: +679 331 8101
Fax: +679 331 8074
Continued growth is expected in the Pacific, but governments need to generate additional resources for public infrastructure and services essential to sustaining economic development.
The Pacific economy is projected to continue expanding in 2023–2024, but supporting further growth requires additional government resources, according to the latest issue of ADB's Pacific Economic Monitor launched today.
Niue became the 68th and most recent member of ADB in 2019. To date, ADB has committed to the country 2 public sector grants and technical assistance totaling $4.3 million.
Economies in the Pacific are projected to grow collectively by 3.3% in 2023 and 2.8% in 2024 as the subregion continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest issue of ADB's Pacific Economic Monitor launched today.