People, fisheries and improved services are key to economic development in the Marshall Islands, says World Bank report

SYDNEY, December 21, 2021 – The Republic of the Marshall Islands can increase household incomes, increase employment and economic growth by focusing on the health and education of its people, improving the quality of public spending and maximizing the benefits of key sectors like fishing, according to the new World Bank Economic Analysis.

the Marshall Islands Country Economic Memorandum and Public Expenditure Review examined the challenges, opportunities and risks for sustainable growth and described reforms that can help ensure long-term sustainable economic development.

“The Marshall Islands National Strategic Plan offers a clear path for the development of the country over the next decade”, noted Degi Young, World Bank Resident Representative for the North Pacific. “This new report aligns with the aspirations of this plan and outlines the policy options that will help the Marshall Islands achieve their goals.”

The country’s economic memorandum and the public expenditure review offer short, medium and long term recommendations based on five key policy areas:

  • Strengthening work opportunities improving the quality of education and skills, linking training to labor market needs and providing additional support to people of Marshallese entering the labor market.
  • Maximize the benefits of fishing, in particular by supporting reforms likely to increase the price of a fishing day within the framework of the regional program of fishing days, as well as by reforming the existing financial incentives in the national fishing sector and by guaranteeing access in duty free to the European Union market.
  • Improve climate and disaster resilience through better planning for adaptation and disaster risk management, better early warning systems for multiple risks, and better collection and use of information on multiple risks to guide urban planning.
  • Stabilize public finances with measures including growth-friendly tax reform, improving revenue administration and strengthening the budget process to better prioritize spending, limit borrowing and save excess revenue for times when revenue is insufficient.
  • Improve service delivery improving the recruitment, selection, development and management of the public sector workforce, streamlining procurement and increasing the efficiency and quality of spending to improve education and training outcomes. health.

“The Marshall Islands’ greatest resource is its people”, noted Degi Young. “Yet the Marshallese face significant economic challenges: the impacts of climate change, the distance from international markets, and now; the COVID-19 pandemic. This report shows that by investing in people and tax systems, and making the most of its fishery resources, Marshall Islands can pave the way to greater economic independence. “

The World Bank is working in partnership with 12 Pacific countries, supporting 84 additional projects totaling US $ 2.08 billion in commitments in sectors such as agriculture, aviation and transport, resilience and adaptation to climate change. climate change, economic policy, education and employment, energy, fisheries, health, macroeconomic management, rural development, telecommunications and tourism.

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