Rosier future as scattered islands gain in Fiji's wake

It is a region that is famously home to some of the tiniest and most far-flung communities in the world.

Now, the remote islands that scatter the South Pacific may well find themselves cast into the international spotlight as Fiji assumes its G77 leadership.

For it is not only Fiji but also the surrounding islands that can potentially benefit economically from its leadership of the G77, says Emma Veve, the principal economist of the Pacific department of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

"Fiji's chair of the G77 is a positive for Fiji and also for the Pacific," she says. "It can be expected to both raise the profile of key Pacific island issues, such as climate change and labour migration, as well as raising international awareness of Fiji and the Pacific region more widely. As such, it is likely to enhance the underlying Pacific regional trend to strengthen links with Asia in particular."

Perhaps the islands with the highest chance of benefiting from the leadership spotlight are those that, in contrast to Fiji, are politically stable, and so are less likely to deter international investors.

For a growing number of islands, the outlook is already starting to look rosier economically. Increased tourist arrivals, healthy fisheries industries and growing spending on infrastructure in recent years have recently yielded conservatively positive results for a number of small Pacific islands economies.

Testimony to this is an ADB report released this month which forecasts that the islands of Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu will experience accelerated economic growth in 2013 and 2014 - defying the general trend of a softening of growth in the Pacific region.

The economy in Nauru - which boasts the unlikely accolade as the world's smallest country, covering just 21 square kilometres - is expected to be fuelled by high phosphate exports and the creation of around 200 new jobs at its asylum seekers processing centre.

The tiny republic is also winning points in terms of its growing international reputation, with its current tenure as chair of the 43-member Alliance of Small Island States.

The economy in Kiribati, a parliamentary republic in the central Pacific Ocean region, is also forecast to grow over the coming year, with an increase in public construction and previously delayed infrastructure projects finally under way.

An upgrade to the airport on the island of Tuvalu is cited as a key actor in fuelling its forecast economic growth, alongside retail growth and a strong Australian dollar, in the ADB report.

Another island in the region with a positive outlook is Vanuatu, a former tax haven boasting parliamentary democracy and close economic ties to Australia and the European Union.

A strong tourism industry resulted in its economy growing by 2 per cent over the past year, countering a contraction in its previously dominant agriculture sector - specialising in tropical products ranging from pineapples to peanuts.

Tourist arrivals, mostly from Australia and New Zealand - as is the case with most of the region - increased by around 15 per cent last year, while its construction and service industries were further boosted by hosting the African Caribbean Pacific/European Union Conference.

The coming two years also look positive for Vanuatu: growth fuelled by the starting of delayed construction projects and the recovery of agriculture production is forecast at a rate of 3.2 per cent this year and 3.4 per cent next year, according to the ADB.

Another region where a healthy tourism industry is pushing economic growth are the Cook Islands, with arrivals growing by an average of 8 per cent over the past two years.

This month, the government officially opened an upgraded Avatiuport, which handles 90 per cent of the islands' sea imports - upon which the nation is heavily reliant to sustain its tourism industry.

Other islands are perhaps facing more complex challenges: Tonga is forecast to experience growth but at a low rate, with its strong tourism marketing campaigns attempting to bolster an economy with public debt accounting for around 45 per cent of GDP.

Meanwhile, Samoa's economy is still recovering from the damage inflicted on its agriculture, tourism and infrastructure last December by Cyclone Evan, estimated to have cost the independent island state around 30 per cent of its GPD.

However both Samoa and the Cook Islands are expected to benefit from recently agreed assistance from the European Investment Bank which will help to examine safety improvements and upgrade terminal facilities at its airports as part of a US$1.1 million (Dh4.04m) technical assistance programme.

The specs: 2018 Opel Mokka X

Price, as tested: Dh84,000

Engine: 1.4L, four-cylinder turbo

Transmission: Six-speed auto

Power: 142hp at 4,900rpm

Torque: 200Nm at 1,850rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 6.5L / 100km


Family: I have three siblings, one older brother (age 25) and two younger sisters, 20 and 13 

Favourite book: Asking for my favourite book has to be one of the hardest questions. However a current favourite would be Sidewalk by Mitchell Duneier

Favourite place to travel to: Any walkable city. I also love nature and wildlife 

What do you love eating or cooking: I’m constantly in the kitchen. Ever since I changed the way I eat I enjoy choosing and creating what goes into my body. However, nothing can top home cooked food from my parents. 

Favorite place to go in the UAE: A quiet beach.


6pm: Baniyas – Group 2 (PA) Dh97,500 (Dirt) 1,400m
Winner: AF Alajaj, Tadhg O’Shea (jockey), Ernst Oertel (trainer)

6.35pm: The Pointe – Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (D) 1,200m
Winner: Awasef, Pat Dobbs, Doug Watson

7.10pm: Palm West Beach – Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (D) 1,400m
Winner: Long Kiss, Jose da Silva, Antonio Cintra

7.45pm: The View at the Palm – Handicap (TB) Dh87,500 (D) 1,200m
Winner: Ranaan, Tadhg O’Shea, Bhupat Seemar

8.20pm: Nakheel – Handicap (TB) Dh105,000 (D) 1,400m
Winner: Raaeb, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

8.55pm: The Club – Handicap (TB) Dh95,000 (D) 1,900m
Winner: Qareeb, Sam Hitchcock, Doug Watson

9.30pm: Palm Beach Towers – Handicap (TB) Dh87,500 (D) 1,600m
Winner: Falsehood, Adrie de Vries, Musabah Al Muhairi

Important questions to consider

1. Where on the plane does my pet travel?

There are different types of travel available for pets:

  • Manifest cargo
  • Excess luggage in the hold
  • Excess luggage in the cabin

Each option is safe. The feasibility of each option is based on the size and breed of your pet, the airline they are traveling on and country they are travelling to.


2. What is the difference between my pet traveling as manifest cargo or as excess luggage?

If traveling as manifest cargo, your pet is traveling in the front hold of the plane and can travel with or without you being on the same plane. The cost of your pets travel is based on volumetric weight, in other words, the size of their travel crate.

If traveling as excess luggage, your pet will be in the rear hold of the plane and must be traveling under the ticket of a human passenger. The cost of your pets travel is based on the actual (combined) weight of your pet in their crate.


3. What happens when my pet arrives in the country they are traveling to?

As soon as the flight arrives, your pet will be taken from the plane straight to the airport terminal.

If your pet is traveling as excess luggage, they will taken to the oversized luggage area in the arrival hall. Once you clear passport control, you will be able to collect them at the same time as your normal luggage. As you exit the airport via the ‘something to declare’ customs channel you will be asked to present your pets travel paperwork to the customs official and / or the vet on duty. 

If your pet is traveling as manifest cargo, they will be taken to the Animal Reception Centre. There, their documentation will be reviewed by the staff of the ARC to ensure all is in order. At the same time, relevant customs formalities will be completed by staff based at the arriving airport. 


4. How long does the travel paperwork and other travel preparations take?

This depends entirely on the location that your pet is traveling to. Your pet relocation compnay will provide you with an accurate timeline of how long the relevant preparations will take and at what point in the process the various steps must be taken.

In some cases they can get your pet ‘travel ready’ in a few days. In others it can be up to six months or more.


5. What vaccinations does my pet need to travel?

Regardless of where your pet is traveling, they will need certain vaccinations. The exact vaccinations they need are entirely dependent on the location they are traveling to. The one vaccination that is mandatory for every country your pet may travel to is a rabies vaccination.

Other vaccinations may also be necessary. These will be advised to you as relevant. In every situation, it is essential to keep your vaccinations current and to not miss a due date, even by one day. To do so could severely hinder your pets travel plans.

Source: Pawsome Pets UAE

Sri Lanka squad for tri-nation series

Angelo Mathews (c), Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Kusal Janith Perera, Thisara Perera, Asela Gunaratne, Niroshan Dickwella, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Dushmantha Chameera, Shehan Madushanka, Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan and Wanidu Hasaranga


Elena Rybakina (Kazakhstan)
Ons Jabeur (Tunisia)
Maria Sakkari (Greece)
Barbora Krejčíková (Czech Republic)
Beatriz Haddad Maia (Brazil)
Jeļena Ostapenko (Latvia)
Liudmila Samsonova
Daria Kasatkina
Veronika Kudermetova
Caroline Garcia (France)
Magda Linette (Poland)
Sorana Cîrstea (Romania)
Anastasia Potapova
Anhelina Kalinina (Ukraine)
Jasmine Paolini (Italy)
Emma Navarro (USA)
Lesia Tsurenko (Ukraine)
Emma Raducanu (Great Britain) – wildcard

'Laal Kaptaan'

Director: Navdeep Singh

Stars: Saif Ali Khan, Manav Vij, Deepak Dobriyal, Zoya Hussain

Rating: 2/5


Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Race card:

6.30pm: Maiden; Dh165,000; 2,000m

7.05pm: Handicap; Dh165,000; 2,200m

7.40pm: Conditions; Dh240,000; 1,600m

8.15pm: Handicap; Dh190,000; 2,000m

8.50pm: The Garhoud Sprint Listed; Dh265,000; 1,200m

9.25pm: Handicap; Dh170,000; 1,600m

10pm: Handicap; Dh190,000; 1,400m


Arsenal 0 Manchester City 3

  • Agüero 18'
  • Kompany 58'
  • Silva 65'
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes

Director: Francis Lawrence

Stars: Rachel Zegler, Peter Dinklage, Viola Davis, Tom Blyth

Rating: 3/5

The specs

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Power: 542bhp
Torque: 770Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Price: From Dh1,450,000
On sale: Now