An Asian Development Bank economist says Pacific Island countries could take a leaf out of the book of Asian countries when dealing with fast growth and rising inequality.
The ADB has forecast 21 percent growth in Papua New Guinea next year on the back of fuel exports but it has warned not everyone in the country is poised to share in the riches of the booming economy.
The bank’s Pacific economist, Emma Veve, says Asian countries which have grown fast in the last decade have turned their attention to reducing inequality but she says the Pacific could make an earlier start.
“Understanding throughout the world is if this spread becomes too great it really does contribute to social and civil tensions. Learning how the Asian governments are working to pull back this gap is something the Pacific could learn from and so avoid creating that situation where you do have a very substantial gap between the rich and the poor.”