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This paper outlines the recent development trajectory of Kiribati in relation to the least developed country (LDC) categorisation and the prospect of Kiribati’s graduation out of LDC status. In particular, the paper discusses the economic vulnerability of Kiribati’s economic and fiscal position due to recent increases in fishing license revenue, and presents a framework for policies moving forward. The framework aims to mitigate the fishery revenue as a source of risk by (1) making the most of current resources (through public financial management reform and prudent fiscal management), (2) ensure the sustainability of the key resource (protect fish stocks), and (3) create an environment for new opportunities through establishing the precursors to tourism-orientated development (through deregulation and investment in public infrastructure). More broadly, the paper advocates for a risk-averse approach to policymaking in Kiribati through broad-based improvements in public financial architecture and investment rather than targeting higher-level interventions.

Macroeconomic Policy and Financing for Development Division +66 2 288-1234 [email protected]