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Indian Ocean



Summary of discussion on foreign investment in Cook Islands, Pacific

Number of substantive responses = 20

65% support the idea that large-scale foreign investment does not benefit small islands

  • Governments have too free a hand to negotiate away a country's property, and to issue development permits
  • Countries need to revisit their development plans and encourage only those investments that promote the full involvement of local residents
  • Foreign investment is only a symptom of the problems faced by small islands, the root causes are over-population and corrupt leaders
  • Cook Islands stand to lose their unique identity due to the foreign investment and importation of foreign labour

5% support the concept that large-scale foreign investment does benefit small islands

  • Foreign investment fuels the construction industry and creates more jobs

30% discussed related issues namely political corruption, trade policies and education

  • Paying a reduced number of politicians a generous salary will lessen corruption
  • Political corruption is a fact of life in all countries, and there is a need to accept this and find ways to work around it
  • Products from less developed countries, such as small islands, do not receive a fair market price, thereby leading to further inequalities between the rich and the poor
  • Young people have insufficient drive and work ethic to achieve their goals
  • Part of the solution to creating good leaders and responsible members of society among the young lies in creating bridges between home, school and communities

To get involved, contact :


Coastal Regions and Small Islands Platform
UNESCO, Paris, France
fax: +33 1 45 68 58 08

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