Kiribati has a vibrant small business community that continues to develop. Previously called The Gilbert Islands it is made up of a group of 33 coral atolls, with a total land area of 726 square kilometres in the pacific ocean, straddling the equator. The capital Tarawa is about half way between Hawaii (USA) and Australia. It became independent from the UK in 1979. Its current population is 104,000, of which nearly half live in the capital Tarawa. . English and I-Kiribati are the official languages. The Australian dollar is used as its currency.
As a remote country, Kiribati has few natural resources. Copra and Fish now represent the bulk of production and exports, although minimial the tourism sector has opportunity to develop. It has two distinct economic zones. The first is the commercial hub of South Tarawa, which has the country’s main port, the seat of government, business and tourist facilities, a developed services sector and some manufacturing operations. Similar activities are found on Kiritimati (Christmas island). The outer islands are largely characterised by fishing and subsistence agriculture.
Foreign aid from the EU, UK, US, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Taiwan, Cuba and UN agencies accounts for 20 – 25% GDP. Remittances from seaman on merchant ships and a small workforce in Australian and New Zealand working in the agricultural sector account for more then AUD$5million each year. Kiribati also receives around AUD$15million annually for the government budget from an Australian trust fund.
Whether you are starting or growing your business or visiting Kiribati, the Kiribati Chamber of Commerce and Industry is always ready to assist you to access business information, contacts and advice that may be required to do business in Kiribati.