Scientific Papers


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ISSN: 2306-3483 (Online), 2071-8330 (Print)

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Pacific islands: Development vulnerabilities, international response and structural transformation

Vol. 13, No 3, 2020


Andrzej Bolesta


United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

ORCID 0000-0003-2298-6133

Pacific islands: Development vulnerabilities, international response and structural transformation




AbstractThe goal of this paper is, upon presenting Pacific island countries’ development challenges and vulnerabilities, to examine and propose possible policy solutions. In view of very particular development challenges related to economic, environmental and social vulnerabilities, the discussion is taking place concerning (a) the content of the UN programmes of actions to support small island developing States (SIDS); (b) the genus of their preferred structural economic transformation and (c) the supporting economic policies. This paper argues that in order to address various development predicaments of small island developing State (a) international community must be engaged in the areas described in the UN programmes of action, as some environmental and economic challenges such as climate change, environmental degradation and external economic shocks cannot be addressed exclusively through domestic policies; (b) particular type of structural economic transformation must take place, which deviates from the traditional path from agriculture to industry and to services, since for the overwhelming majority of SIDS manufacturing is not a viable option due to their remote location and small population, which make them unattractive for international investments and thus regional and global value chains; (c) the specific type of structural transformation must be underpinned by effective economic policies focusing on building resilience.


Received: January, 2020

1st Revision: May, 2020

Accepted: August, 2020


DOI: 10.14254/2071-8330.2020/13-3/2


JEL ClassificationO10, O20, E60

Keywordsdevelopment, structural transformation, economic policies, Pacific islands