28 May 2012

Economist urges continued reform for small Pacific Island countries

10:19 am on 28 May 2012

The World Bank's lead economist for the Pacific is urging small Pacific Island countries to continue to strengthen economic regulation as the region faces a slowdown in growth.

The bank has released its latest economic update on East Asia and the Pacific, which puts last year's growth in the region, excluding China, at four point three percent.

The report, "Capturing New Sources of Growth", predicts five point two percent regional growth for next year and Vivek Suri says import-reliant Pacific countries could use the slowdown to consolidate their recovery.

But he says economic reform is also essential.

"Good policies always pay off and the sorts of policies they are implementing to improve the regulatory environment for the economy - those sorts of measures should continue."

Vivek Suri says commodity exporters such as Papua New Guinea, have been on pretty high growth paths so a slowdown from there will not have too much of an impact.