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Pacific Islands Regional Integration and Governance

Pacific Islands Regional Integration and Governance

Copyright Date: 2005
Published by: ANU Press
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  • Book Info
    Pacific Islands Regional Integration and Governance
    Book Description:

    This book brings together experts from around the world to consider specific issues pertaining to regional integration and governance within small states. The authors collectively address the challenges posed to small states by the quickened pace of globalisation. The lessons learnt from the experiences of small states are then used to draw policy lessons for the Pacific island countries. Pacific Islands Regional Integration and Governance will be of interest and relevance to academics and advanced students of the Pacific, its history and current challenges, as well as the general reader who has an interest in the area.

    eISBN: 978-1-920942-53-3
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. viii-viii)
    (pp. viii-ix)
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  9. 1 Pacific island regional integration and governance: an overview
    (pp. 1-6)
    Satish Chand

    The geographic clustering of several small Pacific island countries (PICs) in the immediate neighbourhood of Australia and New Zealand has supported a degree of regional identity. The Pacific islands, moreover, have long remained sheltered from the pressures of global commerce, and particularly from the competitive pressures of the rapidly growing Asian economies located to the north. In the case of Pacific island nations, even the closest neighbour could be located some several hundred kilometres away by sea, with its attendant high costs of transportation. Local industries, therefore, have enjoyed a significant degree of ‘natural’ protection. Furthermore, a number of the...

  10. 2 Policy challenges for small economies in a globalising world
    (pp. 7-25)
    L. Alan Winters

    This chapter is a sequel to work I conducted recently with Pedro Martins on the costs of doing business in small economies (Winters and Martins 2004, 2005). Somewhat to my surprise, this research, based on specially collected data, showed that, ceteris paribus, manufacturing and tourism faced significantly higher business costs in small isolated economies than elsewhere. It would be absurd to proclaim the estimates we produced to be unassailable, but their size and the fairly thorough review they received in the November 2004 issue of the World Trade Review leave me convinced that they are qualitatively correct.

    The next question,...

  11. 3 Conceptualising and measuring economic resilience
    (pp. 26-49)
    Lino Briguglio, Gordon Cordina, Nadia Farrugia and Stephanie Vella

    Many small states¹ manage to generate a relatively high GDP per capita compared to other developing countries² in spite of their high exposure to external economic shocks. This would seem to suggest that there are factors which may offset the disadvantages associated with such vulnerability. This phenomenon is termed by Briguglio (2003) as the ‘Singapore Paradox’, referring to the fact that Singapore is highly exposed to external shocks, and yet this island state has managed to register high rates of economic growth and high GNP per capita. This reality can be explained in terms of Singapore’s ability to build its...

  12. 4 Sink or swim? Assessing the impact of agricultural trade liberalisation on small island developing states
    (pp. 50-88)
    Luca Monge-Roffarello, Michael Swidinsky and David Vanzetti

    Small island developing states¹ face a number of structural problems that make them less competitive in agricultural trade than many other developing countries. The United Nations, and in particular UNCTAD, has been studying the problems of developing island economies since the 1970s with a view to sensitising the international community to the distinctive needs of these countries, and more recently, to their specific vulnerability (Encontre 1999).²

    To a greater extent than in most other developing economies—and notably as a result of acute limitations in the resource base and domestic market opportunities available to small island developing states—the magnitude,...

  13. 5 ‘Pooled regional governance’ in the island Pacific: lessons from history
    (pp. 89-104)
    Greg Fry

    Since mid 2003 the Australian government has been attempting to reshape and revitalise regional cooperation in the South Pacific around the concept of ‘pooled regional governance’. As with its new hands-on engagement at the national level in the Pacific—in particular in Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Nauru—this heightened commitment is ultimately motivated by security concerns. The Pacific island states are seen as ‘fragile’, or potentially fragile, and therefore prone to penetration by terrorist networks. As viewed by the Howard government, the tasks have therefore become those of getting serious about state strengthening, development, law and order, and...

  14. 6 A common currency for the Pacific island economies?
    (pp. 105-118)
    Ron Duncan

    The question I examine here is whether the Pacific island countries—or at least a substantial number of them—should adopt a common currency (or currency union) as part of a process of regional integration. There are also related questions such as which currency they should adopt and when should they do so. The regional integration may only be between the Pacific states, or it may be with other countries. At present the only other countries under consideration for regional integration with the Pacific are Australia and New Zealand, but regional integration could potentially involve other countries in the Asia...

  15. 7 Globalisation and governance: an African perspective and a case study of Mauritius
    (pp. 119-131)
    Vinaye Ancharaz and Sanjeev K. Sobhee

    Globalisation is not a new phenomenon. What is new, however, is the dramatic scale at which it has occurred in recent years. Trade and cross-border investment, readily identified as the key drivers of ‘international economic integration’—a term widely used to distinguish economic globalisation from other forms of globalisation—have registered explosive growth over the past two decades, aided by the rapid spread of information and communication technologies. Foreign direct investment (FDI) flows, which totaled US$160 billion in 1991, rocketed to US$1.1 trillion in 2000. The volume of international trade has increased 16-fold over the past 50 years. In the...

  16. 8 Deeper integration with Australia and New Zealand? Potential gains for Pacific island countries
    (pp. 132-147)
    Robert Scollay

    The seven million inhabitants of the Pacific island countries (5 million of whom are accounted for by Papua New Guinea alone) are scattered in more than a thousand islands over an area of ocean several times the size of Europe. Although the common label of ‘small vulnerable states’ suggests a degree of homogeneity, the Pacific island countries in fact exhibit great diversity in their economic characteristics. Dimensions of this diversity include population levels (from 5 million in Papua New Guinea to microstates with a few thousand inhabitants such as Niue, Nauru and Tuvalu); income levels (from over US$7500 per head...

  17. 9 Fishing for a future
    (pp. 148-167)
    Hannah Parris and R. Quentin Grafton

    The development challenges facing the countries of the southern central and western Pacific Ocean (collectively Melanesia, Polynesia and Micronesia—or Pacific island countries) are daunting despite substantial in flows of development assistance.¹ The difficulties facing these countries include the unsustainable use of key resources, such as fisheries, high rates of unemployment and underemployment, low levels of economic growth and, in some countries, social unrest and political instability (World Bank 2000b; Asian Development Bank 2004). To help address these concerns, Pacific island countries have embraced the sustainable development agenda and are active participants in a variety of fora, including the Barbados...

  18. 10 Developments in Pacific islands’ air transport
    (pp. 168-194)
    Christopher Findlay, Peter Forsyth and John King

    South Pacific regional aviation has faced a range of problems for many decades. These have been documented and analysed, for example by the World Bank (1993), Forsyth and King (1996) and most recently by the Pacific Regional Transport Study (Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat 2004).

    The core problem facing the Pacific region is one of low density and remoteness—the region has long thin, aviation routes, and these are inherently costly to serve. This problem of low density reflects geography, low population and the size of tourism markets. However, new developments on both the supply and demand sides of the market...

  19. 11 Preference erosion: the case of Fiji sugar
    (pp. 195-217)
    Satish Chand

    Preference erosion refers to a situation where exporters with privileged access to specific markets lose their competitive advantage as barriers to trade in their export markets are lowered to third-country exporters. The case considered here is that of sugar exports from Fiji into the European Union under the Sugar Protocol. Exports of specified quantities of raw sugar from the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states to the European Community under the Cotonou Agreement enjoy guaranteed prices some two to three times the world market price. Preference erosion is a concern for the African, Caribbean and Pacific states given the impending...

  20. 12 ‘Too young to marry’: economic convergence and the case against the integration of Pacific states
    (pp. 218-242)
    Philip T. Powell

    Transnational integration of state institutions in the Pacific islands is an active item on the regional agenda. In a recent Senate report, for example, Australia proposed the formation of a Pacific economic and political community (Commonwealth of Australia 2003). In theory, economic integration will raise the gains from trade, increase investment by reducing risk, and lower production costs by allowing the regional movement of resources to their most efficient use. In addition, political integration will relieve small island states of the fixed cost of managing and funding full-service independent governments. Bureaucracies can shrink and free skilled labour for employment in...

  21. References
    (pp. 243-266)