3 Dec 2014

Report highlights rewards for Pacific from wealthy Asians

7:23 pm on 3 December 2014

Pacific island countries should be planning now to cater for the hunger for luxury goods and holidays from Asia's growing middle class.

That's the view of economists at the Asian Development Bank who've just put out their latest economic report for the region.

A senior economist with the ADB, Christopher Edmonds, says the region is already benefitting from stronger links with the Asian economies and can gain more with targeted policy reforms and investment around niche products and services.

"It could be the aquaculture products like pearls, sea cucumber things like that, the cosmetics which Fiji, Vanuatu have so much success with already, taking advantage of the virgin coconut oil and obviously tourism."

Mr Edmonds says countries need to work on their infrastructure if they're to benefit from wealthy retirees, for example improving communication links and investing in health services.