10 Mar 2011

Resources exacerbate Pacific wealth gap

2:28 pm on 10 March 2011

The gap between wealthy and poor countries in the Pacific appears to be widening with the resource rich nations showing accelerated economic growth.

The Asian Development Bank says growth is expected to be 6.3 per cent in 2011 across the 14 economies tracked.

But Senior Country Specialist for the ADB Emma Veve says strong growth will only be recorded in Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste, Solomon Islands and Nauru because of resources such as liquified natual gas, petroleum, gold and phosphate.

Ms Veve says high commodity prices have a down side for countries which depend on imported food and fuel.

"The higher levels of growth in the higher resource rich economies are going to move them further ahead and provide government with the resources to increase their expenditure on development. So we should see ideally greater improvements in the standard of living and the welfare of the people in these countries. Whereas in the smaller economies it will be more of a struggle."

Emma Veve from the Asian Development Bank.