Small Island Development Trade Challenges Abstract

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SMALL ISLAND DEVELOPMENT

SmallIsland Development Trade Challenges

Abstract

Thispaper explores a number of challenges facing Small Island DevelopmentTrade. According to various reports, most territories which have beenclassified as Small Island Developing States are facing variouschallenges including illegal exploitation of natural resources,natural calamities, climate change, and other factors. The mainchallenges facing these states are climate change which is evidentwith the rise in sea-levels, destruction of coral reefs, and severecases of natural disasters that has exacerbated the states andconditions of these territories and consequently caused thedisplacement of populations and migration. There are also reportedcases of criminal threats which include human and drug trafficking,exploitation of wildlife, and piracy. According to the United Nations(2015) reports, the Small Islands Developing states lack theresources that are required to counter the challenges facing them.Traditional notions of a peaceful and a secure nation are notapplicable in these states as they face interconnected challenges.This paper will, therefore, highlight the Small Island DevelopmentTrade Challenges and provide potential solutions to these issues.

Keywords:Small Island Development Trade Challenges, Small Island DevelopingStates (SIDS)

SmallIsland Development Trade Challenges

SmallIsland developing states (SIDS) refer to countries and territorieswhich are mainly characterized by high vulnerability in economic,social, and geographic terms. These territories are perceived ashighly vulnerable in economy and hence they tend to exhibit poorperformance economically. There are 52 states and territories acrossthe world that has been classified by the United Nations as SmallIsland developing States (SIDS). Most of these states are found inthe Caribbean and the Pacific regions. One of the distinct featuresof SIDS is that it is composed of diverse groups, that is, it is madeup of countries such as Bahamas and Singapore which are relativelyrich as compared to the standards of developing countries, as well asthe poorest countries in the world such as Comoros Islands (UNDP,2006). All SIDS face a number of challenges in economic developmentand trade.

Themain challenge facing Small Island developing states (SIDS) isclimate change and the rise of the sea-level. Climate change and therise in sea-level have adversely affected trade in the SIDS. Thesignificant effects of the climate change and rise in sea-levelthreatens the stability of the countries, leading to displacement andmigration of people (USA International Business Publication, 2007).Major displacement of population will, on the other hand present ahuge challenge to trade in SIDS and other parts of the world.

Anotherchallenge that plagues the small Island developing states (SIDS) isthe natural and environmental disasters. Most of the SIDS are foundin the most vulnerable regions in the world and, therefore, have ahigh frequency and intensity in occurrence of natural andenvironmental calamities. There frequent calamities negatively affectthe economies and trade in the SIDS. For instance, the Indian Oceanearthquakes and frequent tsunamis and also the cyclones andhurricanes that took place in the recent past in the pacific andCaribbean regions affected the trade and the economies of the SIDSnegatively.

TheSmall Island developing states also face the challenge of inadequateland resources. The pressure in the lands resources in SIDS hascontinually increased in the recent past. The demand for landresources is due to competition in terms of usage, increasingdemands, and land degradation. Inadequate land resources is a bigchallenge to trade in the SIDS since the demand of land resources isvery high.

Lastly,the Small Islands developing states face a challenge in accessingenergy resources. Energy dependence is a big source of economic andtrade challenges to the SIDS. Most of the people in the Small Islanddeveloping states do not have access to modern and affordable sourcesof energy and, therefore, provides another challenge to trade.

For the Small Island developing states to achieve a sustained tradeand economic growth, it should develop overseas markets for theirproducts in areas where they do not face much competition. Inaddition, most of the Small Island developing states are largelydependent on the international markets for commodities and should,therefore, develop the overseas markets. Also, in taking into accountthe fact that the Small Island developing states have limited landresources, they should find out more ways of increasing theirproduction and the value-added exports.

References

ADB,Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) andAustralian Government,

Departmentof Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). (2013). Technical Assistance to

Maldivesfor Maritime Transport Master Plan. Consultant’s Report.Mandaluyong City.

USAInternational Business Publication. (2007) Island States: SmallIsland States Handbook:

Developmentstrategy and Programs. New York: Int’l Business Publication

UnitedNations Development Programme (UNDP). (2006) Diagnostic TradeIntegration Study.

Volume1. New York

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