14 Aug 2006

World Bank shows benefits for Pacific countries from labour mobility

4:10 pm on 14 August 2006

The World Bank believes a new report lays out for the first time the economic rationale for labour mobility in the Pacific.

Pacific countries want access to the labour markets of Australia and New Zealand with the hope this will boost their economies.

A Pacific specialist with the Bank, Chris Bleakley, says short-term access for Pacific workers would give an economic boost to some of the poorest places in the region.

He says the impact would be considerable because in four to six months workers could earn what would take five years in their home countries.

"A lot of those earnings would be sent back to their communities and in this report we have shown that that sort of money is used to provide savings, support education, stimulate business activity, provide community infrastructure, so at a community level the benefits are very strong."