Small States

Economic Review and Basic Statistics, Volume 13

image of Small States

This unique annual collection of key economic and statistical data on states with fewer than five million inhabitants is an essential reference for economists, planners and policy-makers.

The Commonwealth’s base definition of small states is those with a population of less than one and a half million. For comparison purposes this volume presents, where available, data on states with a population of up to five million, since many share characteristics with the smaller ones.

The book contains fifty-four tables covering selected economic, social, demographic and Millennium Development Goal indicators culled from international and national sources and presents information unavailable elsewhere. A detailed parallel commentary on trends in Commonwealth small states, looking at growth, employment, inflation, human development, and economic policy, permits a deeper understanding of developments behind the figures. The book also includes four articles focusing on small and medium enterprises: ‘Small-scale Activities and the Productivity Divide’ by Naren Prasad, ‘Micro-, Small and Medium Enterprises Development: Lessons from Small States’, by David Ashiagbor, ‘Strengthening Supply Chains for Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Namibia’, by Watipaso Mkandawire, and ‘Experiences in Micro-, Small and Medium Enterprises Networking Across Small States in the Commonwealth’, by Ram Venuprasad. Naren Prasad was formerly a research co-ordinator at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, Geneva and joined the ILO's International Institute for Labour Studies as a Development Economist in 2008. The other contributors are all advisers at the Commonwealth Secretariat.



Recent Economic Trends in Commonwealth Small States

This chapter examines the economic performance of Commonwealth small states in 2007. In the first section, the three key macroeconomic variables – gross domestic product (GDP), inflation and employment are analysed to determine the trends in these variables and the factors that influence their movement. The second section reviews the external performance of small states so as to gauge their relations with the rest of the world. Movements in the current account as well as inflows to small states in the form of development aid, foreign direct investment (FDI) and remittances are evaluated. The effects of these on public debt and official international reserves are also assessed. The third section analyses how these economic trends have affected human dev elop ment trends in small states. The final section highlights the key issues facing policy-makers.


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