Cook Islands Economy
The Cook Islands restrictive economy is based primarily on agriculture. Like many other South Pacific islands nations, the Cook Islands limited access or isolation is one of its down falls. Plus the lack of natural resources, incumbent natural disasters, and an inadequate infrastructure contributes to the stagnation of the Cook Islands economy.
The major agricultural exports are citrus products (fruit) and copra (which is the dried meat of the coconut used to make oils, milt etc). There are some manufacturing processes in place, including fruit or agro processing, handicrafts and cotton clothing manufacturing.
In the past few years, mining and fishing industries have kicked up, so too has the development of tourism sector seeing the most growth and improvement. There are well over 100000 visitors to the Cook Islands each year and tourism is becoming very important. Much of the remaining yearly revenue is generated by remittances or money sent back into the Cook Islands by natives living abroad.
The New Zealand dollar is the official currency of the Cook Islands, The banking and incorporation laws of the Cook Islands make it an important centre for setting up companies that are involved in global trade.
The Cook Islands’ defense and foreign affairs are the responsibility of New Zealand, in consultation with the Cook Islands. Recently, the Cook Islands have taken on a more and more independent foreign policy. Although Cook Islanders are citizens of New Zealand, they have the rank of Cook Islands nationals, which is not given to other New Zealand citizens.