Economy overview: US government assistance is the backbone of this tiny island nation’s economy. Agricultural production is concentrated on small farms, the most important commercial crops being coconuts, tomatoes, melons, breadfruit. The small industrial sector is limited to handicrafts, fish processing and copra harvesting. Tourism, which is now a minor source of foreign exchange, employing less than 10% of the workforce, promises to generate additional income in the future. Natural resources are negligible and imports far exceed exports. Under the terms of a free association agreement with the United States, the islands receive approximately $65 million in aid annually. In 1999, negotiations were held to amend the agreement. Reduced government spending, drought,
GDP: Purchasing power parity o-$105 million (1998 est.), roughly $65 million in annual aid from the US.
Real GDP growth rate: -5% (1998 est.).
GDP per capita: Purchasing Power Parity $1,670 (1998 est.)
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 15%; industry: 13%; services: 72% (1995).
Proportion of the population below the poverty line: no data available.
Percentage distribution of household income or consumption: for the poorest 10% of households: n/a; by top 10% of households: no data.
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 5% (1997).
Labor force: no data.
Employment structure: agriculture – no data, industry – no data, services – no data.
Unemployment rate: 16% (1991 est.).
Budget: revenues: $80.1 million; expenses: $77.4 million, including capital expenditures of $19.5 million (FY95-96 est.).
Economic sectors: copra, fish, tourism, shell, wood and pearl products, offshore banking (in its infancy).
Growth in industrial production: no data available.
Electricity production: no data.
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: no data available; hydropower: no data; nuclear fuel: no data; others: no data.
Electricity consumption: no data.
Export of electricity:
Import of electricity:
Agricultural products: coconuts, tomatoes, melons, cocoa, taro, breadfruit, fruits; pigs, chickens.
Exports: $28 million (free on board, 1997 est.)
Exports: fish, coconut oil, trochid snail shells.
Export partners: USA, Japan, Australia.
Imports: $58 million (free on board, 1997 est.)
Imports: foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, fuels, beverages and tobacco.
Import partners: USA, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Guam, Singapore.
External debt: $125 million (FY96-97 est.) Economic Assistance Recipient: Approximately $65 million in annual assistance from the United States.
Economic aid donor:
Currency: US dollar.
Currency code: USD.
Exchange rate: US dollar is used.
Fiscal year: October 1-September 30.
Telecommunications Telephone lines: 3,000 (1996).
Mobile Cell Phones: 365 (1996).
Telephone system: telex service; domestic: Majuro Atoll, Ebeye and Kwajolein have regular seven-digit direct access telephone numbers; the other islands are connected by shortwave radiotelephony (used mainly for government purposes); international: satellite earth stations – 2 Intelsat (Pacific Ocean); US government satellite communications system on Kwajopan Island.
Broadcast stations: AM – 3, FM – 4, shortwave – 0 (1998).
Radio receivers: no data.
Television broadcast stations: 3 (of which two are US military stations) (1997).
TVs: no data.
Internet country code: mh
Internet providers: 1 (2000).
Number of users: 500 (2000).
Transport Railways: 0 km.
Roads: total: no data; coated: no data; uncoated: no data; note: paved roads on large islands (Majuro, Kwajolein), other roads paved with stone, coral, laterite.
Ports and harbours: Majuro.
Merchant navy: total: 212 ships (displacement 1,000 tons or more) with a total displacement of 9,768,406 gross register tons / 16,242,699 long tons of gross tonnage; ships of various types: bulk carriers – 63, cargo ships – 9, chemical tankers – 10, combined ore and oil – 2, container ships – 29, liquefied gas tankers – 10, multifunctional heavy cargo ships – 1, oil tankers – 87, cargo ships for the transport of vehicles – 1; note: including foreign ships registered here for flag of convenience reasons: Cyprus 1, Germany 1, Japan 1, USA 6 (2000 est.).
Airports: 16 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 4; from 1,524 to 2,437 m: 3; from 914 to 1523 m: 1 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 12; from 914 to 1523 m:9; less than 914 m: 3 (2000 est.).
Arms of the Armed Forces: No standing armed forces (Coast Guard may be established); police. See militarynous.com to know more about Marshall Islands Military.
International Issues International Disputes: Disputes Wake Island from the US.