Economic vision focuses on diversification

Saturday September 22, 2018 Written by Published in Politics
It’s been a busy week for Queen’s Representative Tom Marsters, pictured with his wife Tuaine at Government House. 18092129 It’s been a busy week for Queen’s Representative Tom Marsters, pictured with his wife Tuaine at Government House. 18092129

The Cook Islands’ government is determined to continue to strengthen key economic drivers, while diversifying the country’s financial base. 

 

The government outlined its economic vision in a speech from the throne read by the Queen’s Representative Tom Marsters this week.

It said: “We will ensure that our tourism sector maintains the edge over our competitors through collaboration with the industry in product development and market investment. 

“As we build our destination, we will also adjust our marketing efforts to keep pace with global trends, building on the advancement of the past eight years. 

“Recognising that our future tourism must be intertwined with our environment, culture and physical infrastructure, my government will also be taking action in these critical areas with a people-centred approach.” 

The government also put its focus on agriculture and fisheries and the benefits both were having on the economy.

In particular, it said it would make a concerted effort to re-invigorate agriculture and continue to support regional efforts to maintain the sustainability of Pacific fish stocks.

“Agriculture will continue to contribute to our economy, however, we must change the way we do things in supporting our growers and farmers.

“Investment in agriculture today must adapt to new technology and methods. Production must be geared towards modern market demands. 

“We must embrace new ways in order to increase returns to producers and attract a new generation to the agriculture sector.

“Therefore, we will make a concerted effort to reinvigorate agriculture, particularly in the fertile southern islands with a focus on boosting production by capitalising on the strengths of traditional crops, introducing high value and more climate resilient crops, advancing and expanding value chains and linking farmers to markets.” 

The government added it would design specific strategies to attract youth into agriculture.

 “Furthermore, a strong agriculture sector is not only a guarantee for food security, reducing imports and increasing income generation, but also assures improved nutrition and health outcomes for our people.”  

The economic return from fisheries has increased steadily to almost $20 million last year.

“We will maintain our efforts of stewardship over our offshore fisheries through the Quota Management System, which we commenced in 2016. 

“And we will continue to support regional efforts to maintain the sustainability of our Pacific fish stocks, ensure fair returns and payments to Pacific countries and enhance surveillance to reduce the incidence of illegal fishing in our waters.”

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