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The Gilbert Islands became a British protectorate in 1892 and a colony in 1915; they were captured by the Japanese in the Pacific War in 1941. The islands of Makin and Tarawa were the sites of major US amphibious victories over entrenched Japanese garrisons in 1943. The Gilbert Islands were granted self-rule by the UK in 1971 and complete independence in 1979 under the new name of Kiribati. The US relinquished all claims to the sparsely inhabited Phoenix and Line Island groups in a 1979 treaty of friendship with Kiribati.


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Economy

Economy - overview
A remote country of 33 scattered coral atolls, Kiribati has few natural resources and is one of the least developed Pacific Islands. Commercially viable phosphate deposits were exhausted at the time of independence from the UK in 1979. Copra and fish now represent the bulk of production and exports. The economy has fluctuated widely in recent years. Economic development is constrained by a shortage of skilled workers, weak infrastructure, and remoteness from international markets. Tourism provides more than one-fifth of GDP. Private sector initiatives and a financial sector are in the early stages of development. Foreign financial aid from the EU, UK, US, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UN agencies, and Taiwan accounts for 20-25% of GDP. Remittances from seamen on merchant ships abroad account for more than $5 million each year. Kiribati receives around $15 million annually for the government budget from an Australian trust fund.

Gdp (purchasing power parity) World Ranking: 210
$606.7 million (2011 est.)
$595.8 million (2010 est.)
$588 million (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp (official exchange rate)
$167 million (2011 est.)

Gdp - real growth rate World Ranking: 157
1.8% (2011 est.)
1.4% (2010 est.)
-2.4% (2009 est.)

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 142
$5,800 (2011 est.)
$5,800 (2010 est.)
$5,800 (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture 8.9%
Industry 24.2%
Services 66.8% (2004)

Labor force World Ranking: 216
7,870
Note
Economically active, not including subsistence farmers (2001 est.)

Labor force - by occupation
Agriculture 2.7%
Industry 32%
Services 65.3% (2000)

Unemployment rate World Ranking: 11
2% (1992 est.)

Population below poverty line
NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10% NA%
Highest 10% NA%

Budget
Revenues $55.52 million
Expenditures $59.71 million (FY05)

Taxes and other revenues World Ranking: 74
33.2% of GDP (FY05)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) World Ranking: 87
-2.5% of GDP (FY05)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) World Ranking: 4
0.2% (2007 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares
$NA

Agriculture - products
Copra, taro, breadfruit, sweet potatoes, vegetables; fish

Industries
Fishing, handicrafts

Industrial production growth rate
NA%

Electricity - production World Ranking: 208
22 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - consumption World Ranking: 210
20.46 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - exports
0 kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - imports
0 kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - production World Ranking: 185
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - consumption World Ranking: 206
300 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - exports World Ranking: 167
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - imports World Ranking: 202
284.1 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - proved reserves World Ranking: 148
0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural gas - production World Ranking: 198
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - consumption World Ranking: 192
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - exports World Ranking: 124
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - imports World Ranking: 82
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves World Ranking: 192
0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current account balance World Ranking: 62
-$21 million (2007 est.)

Exports World Ranking: 209
$17 million (2004 est.)

Exports - commodities
Copra 62%, coconuts, seaweed, fish

Imports World Ranking: 215
$62 million (2004 est.)

Imports - commodities
Foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, miscellaneous manufactured goods, fuel

Debt - external World Ranking: 196
$10 million (1999 est.)

Exchange rates
Australian dollars (AUD) per US dollar -
0.9695 (2011)
1.0902 (2010)
1.2822 (2009)
1.2059 (2008)
1.2137 (2007)

Fiscal year
NA


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Kiribati (South Tarawa):
Country Flag
Country Locator

GPS points from Kiribati (South Tarawa)

square Orona Phoenix Islands

square North Channel Kiribati (general)

square Tapituwea Kiribati (general)

square Rapa Kiribati (general)

square Melaneziyskaya Kotlovina Kiribati (general)

square Tabuaeran Island Line Islands

square Tapiteouea Kiribati (general)

square Nomuti Gilbert Islands




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