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Boosting connectivity will strengthen services in the Pacific

[Photo: Asian Development Bank]

Better information technologies and transport infrastructure are seen as key in the Pacific to increase economic opportunities and better access to goods and services.

According to the Asian Development Bank, a drop in the Pacific's growth is due to the slowdown in Papua New Guinea.

ADB's Director General for Pacific Carmela Locsin said improved information communication technology is no longer a luxury, but a necessity.

Recovery in the larger economies is expected to see regional growth at 3.3% in 2018.

However, the price prospects for Pacific exports are mixed and inbound tourism may slow down.

The ADB Pacific Department notes the Pacific countries' remoteness is a fundamental constraint to economic development.

In the report, the ADB estimates that 75% of Pacific economies will be connected to submarine cables in the next 2-3 years.

The ADB is working with the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, and Tonga to help develop submarine cable projects.