View the information below regarding the economy of Nauru. The summary and statistics contains
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Nauru Country Page.
GNP (2001 est.): $60 million.
Per capita GNP (2001 est.): $5,000.
Avg. inflation rate (1997): -1%. Australian dollar is currency used. Industry: Types--phosphate mining, offshore banking, and coconut products.
Trade: Exports (1995)--$38.1 million; phosphates. Major export markets--Australia.
Imports (1994)--$45.9 million; food, fuel, manufactures, building materials, machinery. Major importers--Australia, New Zealand. Fiscal year: July 1 to June 30.
Economy of Nauru
The economy depends almost entirely on the country's declining phosphate deposits. These were depleted in 2000 on a largescale commercial basis; however, smallscale mining is still occurring. The government-owned Nauru Phosphate Corporation (NPC) controls the mining industry. Many of the miners are contract workers from Kiribati and Tuvalu. The government places a large percentage of the NPC's earnings in long-term investments meant to support the citizenry after the phosphate reserves have been exhausted; many of these investments have not panned out, while those that have succeeded have often been used as collateral for loans, eroding their value. In the years after independence, Nauru possessed the highest GDP per capita in the world due to its rich phosphate deposits. Nauru now lacks money to perform many of the basic functions of government. A history of bad investments includes a failed play in London and the purchase of the once-luxurious Grand Pacific Hotel in Fiji. Financial mismanagement, corruption, and a shortage of basic goods, electricity, and water have resulted in some domestic unrest, such as demonstrations outside of Parliament. Air Nauru, the country's link to the outside world, has been periodically grounded in recent years due to problems paying for proper maintenance of its sole aircraft.
Lacking other resources, the government has turned to passport sales and laxly administered offshore banking to raise badly needed revenue. Both schemes have drawn strong international criticism as potentially aiding and abetting criminal and terrorist groups. The Nauru Agency Corporation administers Nauru's offshore banking sector. Nauru has been cited by the Financial Action Task Force as a noncooperative jurisdiction in the fight against money laundering.