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Abstract

After pointing out that small island economies are diverse in their economic situations and in their ability to benefit from globalisation, this article examines the actual situation of South Pacific island countries. It takes into account their size and its diversity; variations in their involvement in international trade; their geographic, ethnic and cultural differences; their international political associations; and differences in their degree of economic development. All of these factors, as well as their common attributes, influence the prospects of small Pacific Island countries for benefiting from economic globalisation. The question of whether the MIRAB characterisation of South Pacific Island Economies continues to be relevant is explored given that there has been increasing global support for the notion that nations should mainly rely on economic liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation for their economic development and become less aid dependent. Furthermore, the extent to which economic globalisation can be embraced to further the sustainable development of Pacific island countries is discussed.

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