Economy in Falkland-Malvinas Islands

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Economy—overview: The economy was formerly based on agriculture mainly sheep farming which directly or indirectly employs most of the work force, and tourism. Dairy farming supports domestic consumption; crops furnish winter fodder. Exports feature shipments of high-grade wool to the UK and the sale of postage stamps and coins. Rich stocks of fish in the surrounding waters are not presently exploited by the islanders. So far efforts to establish a domestic fishing industry have been unsuccessful. The economy has diversified since 1987 when the government began selling fishing licenses to foreign trawlers operating within the Falklands exclusive fishing zone; overfishing is a growing problem. These license fees total more than $40 million per year and support the island's health education and welfare system. To encourage tourism the Falkland Islands Development Corporation has built three lodges for visitors attracted by the abundant wildlife and trout fishing. The island has golf courses for golf people visiting. The islands are now self-financing except for defense. The British Geological Survey announced a 200-mile oil exploration zone around the islands in 1993 and early seismic surveys suggest substantial reserves capable of producing 500 000 barrels per day. An agreement between Argentina and the UK in 1995 seeks to defuse licensing and sovereignty conflicts that would dampen foreign interest in exploiting potential oil reserves.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$NA

GDP—real growth rate: NA%

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$NA

GDP—composition by sector:

agriculture: NA%

industry: NA%

services: 45%

Inflation rate—consumer price index: NA%

Labor force:

total: 1 100 (est.)

by occupation: agriculture 95% (mostly sheepherding)

Unemployment rate: full employment; labor shortage


revenues: $53.4 million

expenditures: $53.1 million including capital expenditures of $NA (1994-95 est.)

Industries: wool and fish processing; sale of stamps and coins

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity—capacity: 9 000 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 10 million kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 4 316 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: fodder and vegetable crops; sheep farming small dairy herds


total value: $7.6 million (1995)

commodities: wool hides meat

partners: UK Netherlands Japan (1992)


total value: $24.7 million (1995)

commodities: fuel food and drink building materials clothing

partners: UK Netherlands Antilles Japan (1992)

Debt—external: $NA

Economic aid:

recipient: ODA $NA

note: UK ODA and OOF bilateral commitments totaled $18 million (1993-94)

Currency: 1 Falkland pound (£F) = 100 pence

Exchange rates: Falkland pound (£F) per US$1—0.6115 (January 1998) 0.6106 (1997) 0.6403 (1996) 0.6335 (1995) 0.6529 (1994) 0.6658 (1993); note—the Falkland pound is at par with the British pound

Fiscal year: 1 April—31 March

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