Solomon Islands Economy, GDP, Budget, Industry and Agriculture


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Solomon Islands Economy

View the information below regarding the economy of Solomon Islands. The summary and statistics contains gdp, industry, agriculture and more for Solomon Islands. If you need other information please visit the Solomon Islands Country Page.

  • Solomon Islands Government
  • Solomon Islands People
  • Solomon Islands Geography
  • Solomon Islands History

    GNP (2001): $264.5 million.
    Annual growth rate (2000-02): minus 24%.
    Per capita income (2002): $580.
    Avg. inflation rate (2001): 7.9%.
    Natural resources: Forests, fish, agricultural land, marine products, gold.
    Agriculture: Products--copra, cocoa, palm oil, palm kernels and subsistence crops of yams, taro, bananas, pineapple.
    Industry: Types--fish canning, sawmilling, boats, rattan and wood furniture, fiberglass products, shell jewelry, tobacco, beer, clothing, soap, nails, handicrafts.
    Trade (2000): Exports--$70 million (a 52% drop from 1999): fish, logs and timber, cocoa, copra. Major markets--Japan 39%, U.K. 23%, U.S. 2%. Imports--$94 million (an 11% drop from 1999): machinery and transport equipment, fuel, food and beverages. Major suppliers--Australia 34%, Japan 16%, New Zealand 9%.
    Official exchange rate: Solomon Islands $1=about U.S.$0.20.

    Economy of the Solomon Islands
    Although its per capita GDP of $340 ranks Solomon Islands as a lesser developed nation. Over 75% of its labor force are engaged in subsistence farming and fishing. Until 1998, when world prices for tropical timber fell steeply, timber was Solomon Islands main export product, and, in recent years, Solomon Islands forests were dangerously overexploited. Other important cash crops and exports include copra and palm oil. In 1998 Ross Mining of Australia began producing gold at Gold Ridge on Guadalcanal. Minerals exploration in other areas continued. However in the wake of the ethnic violence in June 2000, exports of palm oil and gold ceased while exports of timber fell.

    Exploitation of Solomon Islands rich fisheries offers the best prospect for further export and domestic economic expansion. However, a Japanese joint venture, Solomon Taiyo Ltd., which operated the only fish cannery in the country, closed in mid-2000 as a result of the ethnic disturbances. Though the plant has reopened under local management, the export of tuna has not resumed.

    Tourism, particularly diving, is an important service industry for Solomon Islands. Growth in that industry is hampered, however, by lack of infrastructure, transportation limitations and security concerns.

    Solomon Islands was particularly hard hit by the Asian economic crisis even before the ethnic violence of June 2000. The Asian Development Bank estimates that the crash of the market for tropical timber reduced Solomon Island's GDP by between 15%-25%. About one-half of all jobs in the timber industry were lost. The government has said it will reform timber harvesting policies with the aim of resuming logging on a more sustainable basis.

    Since 2000 the Government of Solomon Islands has become increasingly insolvent. It has exhausted its borrowing capacity; in 2001 the deficit reached 8% of GDP. It is unable to meet bi-weekly payrolls and has become extraordinarily dependent on funds from foreign aid accounts, which provided an estimated 50% of government expenditure in 2001. Principal aid donors are Australia, New Zealand, the European Union, Japan, and the Republic of China.


  • Solomon Islands Government
  • Solomon Islands People
  • Solomon Islands Geography
  • Solomon Islands History