ⓘ Economy of Solomon Islands

Economy of Solomon Islands

ⓘ Economy of Solomon Islands

A per capita GDP of.200 ranks Solomon Islands as a lesser developed nation. Over 75% of its labour force is engaged in subsistence farming and fishing.


1. Economic history

Until 1998, when world prices for tropical timber fell steeply, timber was Solomon Islands main export product. In recent years, Solomon Islands forests were dangerously overexploited.

Solomon Islands was particularly hard hit by the Asian financial 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 Islands 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.

In the wake of the ethnic violence in June 2000, exports of palm oil and gold ceased while exports of timber fell.


2.1. Economic sectors Cash crops

Important cash crops and exports include copra and palm oil.


2.2. Economic sectors Fishing

Exploitation of Solomon Islands rich fisheries offers the best prospect for further export and domestic economic expansion. 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.


2.3. Economic sectors Tourism

Tourism, particularly diving, is an important service industry for Solomon Islands. Growth in tourism is hampered by lack of infrastructure, transportation limitations and security concerns. Tourism here in Solomon Islands is the major income for the economy itself, 2016 and 2017 records of the total money received from tourism is about $1.6 million dollar in revenue received. In 2017 the Solomons, one of the least frequently visited countries of the world, were visited by 26.000 tourists.


2.4. Economic sectors Foreign aid

Since 2000 the Solomon Islands government 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 $247 Million per year 2006, New Zealand $14 Million per year 2004, the European Union, Japan $40 Million per year 2005, and the Republic of China Taiwan At least $20 Million per year.

Solomon Islands is a member of the WTO.


2.5. Economic sectors Energy

Electricity - production: 78 GWh 2008 est.

Electricity - consumption: 72.54 GWh 2008 est.

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh 2009

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh 2009

A team of renewable energy developers working for the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission SOPAC and funded by the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership REEEP, have hatched a scheme that enables these communities to access renewable energy, such as solar, without raising substantial sums of ready cash. If the islanders were not able to pay for solar lanterns with cash, reasoned the project developers, they can pay with crops


3. Statistics

The following table shows the main economic indicators in 1980–2017.

Foreign Government Aid as a % of GDP: 40.125% 2006 est.

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $3.200 2011 est.

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 37.7% industry: 6.4% services: 55.9% 2011 est.

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: NA% highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate consumer prices: 10% 1999 est.

Labor force: 202.500 2007

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 75%, industry 5%, services 20% 2000 est.

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget: revenues: $313.1 million expenditures: $261.7 million, including capital expenditures of $0 2011 est.

Industries: fish tuna, mining, timber

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Agriculture - products: cocoa, coconuts, palm kernels, rice, potatoes, vegetables, fruit; cattle, pigs; fish; timber

Exports: $216.5 million 2010 est.

Exports - commodities: timber, fish, palm oil, cocoa, copra

Exports - partners: China 54%, Australia 12.5%, Thailand 4.6% 2011

Imports: $360.3 million 2010 est.

Imports - commodities: food, plant and equipment, manufactured goods, fuels, chemicals

Imports - partners: Australia 27.3%, Singapore 26.4%, China 6.5%, Malaysia 5.1%, New Zealand 5.1% 2011

Debt - external: $166 million 2004

Currency: 1 Solomon Islands dollar SI$ = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Solomon Islands dollars SI$ per US$1 – 7.833 January 2017

Fiscal year: calendar year