A World Bank study suggests that countries such as Samoa, Fiji and Tonga have the potential to attract offshore, online outsourcing and other information technology-related industries.
Arithmetically, this could add between 0.4 to 3.5 per cent to the countries gross domestic products (G..DP) over the next five years, creating thousands of job opportunities in the process.
This was revealed in the ANZ Bank monthly research survey which was released yesterday on ‘could outsourcing emerge as a new driver of Pacific growth?’
Indeed, the bank says Fiji is already showing promise as major companies (including ANZ Pacific) set up their offshoring operations to its shores.
The bank highlights the 2016-17 Pacific currency outlook appears to be a heady one for Pacific currencies, with global and regional developments impacting various currency pairs unevenly.
In particular, amid an uneven global backdrop, the extent of exposure of each economy’s trade, commodity and ‘services industry’ it says will determine the trajectory of its currency performance.
“In January, the contrary performance between the US dollar and commodity currencies (Australian dollar, NZ dollar) has led to a divergence in their respective individual Pacific crosses, to varying degrees.” It states economic data in the aftermath of Cyclone Pam reveals uneven impacts across the region. “Vanuatu (which suffered the brunt of the cyclone) continues to see deep cuts in tourism arrivals, with nationwide restoration still underway.
Interestingly, it says, it seems that tourists are diverting their itineraries to other less-affected Pacific Islands (rather than cancelling plans altogether). The region (excluding Vanuatu), it adds is seeing a marked improvement in arrivals with the approach of the peak tourism season.