The economic challenges experienced by Niue are common to other small island states within the Pacific. Geographic isolation, shortages of skilled professionals and entrepreneurial expertise, limited natural resources, poor soil quality and a small population hamper the development of an independent economy. Cyclones occasionally devastate the island’s infrastructure, including housing and tourist facilities.
Eco-tourism and the export of sustainable organic foods – such as vanilla (flower picture above) and nonu – provide the government with opportunities to expand the island’s economy and to balance the budget.
However export agriculture, like tourism, is vulnerable to disruption by bad weather.