Government officials worry new status will result in a cut in aid and could hurt the country’s growth prospects Government officials worry new status will result in a cut in aid and could hurt the country’s growth prospects - ImagesGram

Government officials worry new status will result in a cut in aid and could hurt the country’s growth prospects

Cook Islands faces its 'worst case scenario', being granted developed country status

Eleanor Ainge Roy in Dunedin
Sunday 8 October 2017 01.51 BST

The tiny nation of the Cook Islands is set to become the first among the Pacific islands to graduate to “developed” status, in a move that some government officials are calling their “worst case scenario”.
Some 99.99% of the Cook’s territory is made up of ocean, with its 15 islands spread out over an area of nearly 2m sq km.

The Cook Islands has a free-association agreement with New Zealand, meaning it is self-governing but its residents are entitled to New Zealand citizenship, receive NZ$25m (£13.5m) in aid per annum and are expected to share common values.

In the last decade the Cook Islands has made substantial progress in becoming financially independent with the Asian Development Bank recording six straight years of economic growth.
More than 150,000 tourists visited the island last year attracted by airfares subsidised by the government and the country has also earned increased revenue through better management of the fisheries sector.