Small States

Economic Review and Basic Statistics, Volume 14

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 definition of small states is those with a population of one and a half million or less. For comparison purposes this volume presents, where available, data on states with a population of up to five million.

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 three articles focusing on trade in services: ‘Post-crisis Growth in Small States: The Role of Trade in Knowledge-based Services’ by Dirk Willem te Velde, ‘Exporting Health and Wellness: Prospects and Issues for Small States’ by Estella Aryada, and ‘Pro-poor Tourism Interventions through the Creation of Agro-tourism Linkages’ by Chanda Chella. Dirk Willem te Velde currently works at the ODI as the Director of Programmes in the International Economic Development Group. Ms Aryada and Ms Chella are Trade Advisers in the Special Advisory Services Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat.



Recent Economic Trends in Commonwealth Small States

This chapter examines the economic performance of Commonwealth small states in 2008 with the aim of identifying the economic trends that show how these countries are coping in the global economy. 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 and inflows to small states in the form of development aid, foreign direct investment (FDI) and remittances are evaluated. The effects of these trends on the public debt and official international reserves are also assessed. The third section analyses how these economic trends have affected human development trends in small states. The final section highlights the key policy issues facing small states, including how to facilitate the operations of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the competitiveness of small states’ economies compared with those of other countries.


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