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World Travel Guide > Guides > Oceania > Kiribati

Kiribati: Doing business and staying in touch

Doing Business in Kiribati

Shirt and smart trousers or skirt will suffice most of the time; ties need only be worn for formal occasions.

Office Hours

Mon-Fri 0800-1230 and 1330-1615.

Economy

The main agricultural crop is coconut, from which copra, the principal export commodity, is derived. Bananas, breadfruit and papayas are also produced, largely for domestic consumption. The local fishing industry has declined drastically, particularly after the closure of the state fishing company, but the sale of licences to foreign fleets is an important source of government revenue. Despite its remoteness, Kiribati has managed to develop a tourism industry which now accounts for about one-fifth of GDP. The economy grew by 1.8% in 2006, while inflation hovered between 3 and 4%.

Kiribati remains heavily dependent on foreign aid and remittances from the many islanders of working age employed overseas. Kiribati is a member of the Pacific Community, the South Pacific Forum and the Asian Development Bank. Kiribati is also involved with various regional initiatives to promote economic development. Kiribati is one of the 14 signatories to the Pacific Islands Countries Trade Agreement, agreed in 2001, which plans measures to boost regional trade.

GDP

US$64 million (2006).

Main exports

Copra, pet fish and seaweed.

Main imports

Food and manufactured goods.

Main trading partners

Japan, USA, New Zealand, Australia and China (PR).

Keeping in Touch in Kiribati

Telephone

Most international calls from Kiribati have to go through the operator. Radio telephone calls can be arranged to most outer islands.

Mobile Phone

GSM 900 network in use. Network provider is Telecom Services Kiribati Ltd (www.tskl.net.ki).

Internet

There are currently no Internet cafes in Kiribati.

Media

Freedom of speech and of the media is generally respected. The government-run radio station and newspaper offer diverse views. Both Protestant and Catholic churches publish newsletters and periodicals; these are important sources of information. The weekly papers are Kiribati Newstar and Te Uekera, published in English and Kiribati; Kiribati Business Link is published in English. There is no domestic television service; Radio Kiribati is state run.

Post

Airmail to Western Europe takes up to two weeks. There is a weekly postal service for overseas mail.

Post Office hours

Mon-Fri 0900-1500.