The Micronesia Federation has a small business development. According to countryaah, the basis for the economy is assistance from the United States, a rapidly growing fishing industry, as well as agriculture and self-sufficiency fishing. Tourism has been growing significantly since 2000. Statistical data are uncertain, but gross domestic product (GDP) per capita was estimated at US $ 1930 in 2003, with very different distribution between the states, where Yap led by approx. twice as high as Chuuk.
Since 1986, when an association agreement came into force, US aid has been gradually reduced. The agreement was renewed in 2003 and guarantees the Micronesia Federation a total US aid of 1.8 billion. In the period up to 2024. In order to reduce dependence on the United States, a comprehensive “reform package” was adopted in 1995 with support from the Asian Development Bank. The state is by far the largest employer, although the public sector has shrunk somewhat in line with declining US aid.
Until 2003, US and Australian aid accounted for a total of approx. 50% of GDP and 1/3 of the public revenue. The association agreement with the US was renewed in 2003 and guarantees a total of 1.8 billion. USD in the period up to 2023. The economy can be characterized as dualistic with a modern money-based economy established largely in the few urban centers and, by the way, most natural households. The salaried population comprises only around 26% of the workforce. Most of the inhabitants still live in traditional large families, and within these are taken great responsibility in providing for each other. Public sector is the driving force in the economy, and the state salaries amounts to about 1/3of GDP. The private business sector is mainly based on the public sector’s purchase of goods and services. Tourism has been growing since the turn of the millennium by approx. 10,000 visits annually. An important attraction is diving, first and foremost in the Chuuk Lagoon where a lot of shipwrecks have been around since the Second World War. The ruined town of Nan Madol on the island of Pohnpei also attracts a relatively large number of visitors.
Agriculture is practiced almost exclusively for self-sufficiency; covers approx. 60% of the country needs and employs almost half of the workforce. The most important agricultural products are bananas and coconuts (copra) for export, as well as cassava, breadfruit and sweet potatoes for own use. Pepper is grown in Pohnpei.
Fish is the most important natural resource. Micronesia is believed to have the richest tuna banks in the world. Fishing revenues have shown strong growth since the mid-1990s. Then a local commercial fishing started and revenue from foreign license fishing skyrocketed. Shellfish is also a significant source of income.
The industry is very poorly developed and mainly comprises only coconut products such as copra and oil, a fish processing company in Kosrae and some small scale craft production.
In 2003, the total value of imports was USD 110 million, while exports amounted to USD 20 million. Imports include food, consumables and finished goods, machinery and transport equipment, as well as fuel. About. 80% of exports are fish and primarily go to the US and Japan. Other export products are shellfish, textiles, copra and black pepper.
Transport and Communications
Transport is poorly developed, and the enormous distances hinder the development of the Micronesia Federation as a country. All four main islands have an international airport connected to neighboring islands in the Pacific. Only Air Continental has international flights to the Federation of Micronesia, while inland traffic is largely provided by ships, only some of the outer islands have an airport connection with the main islands. Most of the ship traffic between the islands is state-organized.