20 Feb 2009

Cook Islands prepares to boost its off shore financial services industry

6:38 pm on 20 February 2009

The Cook Islands looks set to approve a package to stimulate the country's offshore financial services industry, the biggest revenue earner after tourism.

Radio NZ International understands the package is valued at around four hundred thousand US dollars and will see the establishment of an agency charged with developing new offshore industry products and marketing.

The country's finance minister, Sir Terepai Moaote, says the Cabinet has endorsed a consultant's recommendations on the industry, and next week will consider the formation of a statutory authority and how to fund it.

He says the industry has been static for several years and the package will address that.

"It's not growing according to our expectations and yet this is a very popular country. It's a country that is looked upon by others as very progressive, but in the industry itself we are not working together with the industry because that's been their choice in the past. But now there's a general agreement that both the government and the industry has to work together."

Cook Islands Finance Minister, Sir Terepai Moaote