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Palau

Ngerulmud

Palau is a collection of more than 300 islands, of which only 9 are inhabited. Spread across the Pacific Ocean and the Philippine Sea, it is situated to the north of Papua New Guinea and east of the Philippines. Under its "Compact of Free Association" with the United States, Palau receives direct financial assistance equivalent to twenty percent of its GDP and uses the US Dollar. The Palauan population enjoy comparatively high living standards, with a per capita income twice that of the Philippines and most of Micronesia. According to 2013 UNDP Human Development Report, Palau ranks in the top third of all nations (52 out of 186 countries).

Palau's bountiful marine life makes fisheries its main revenue sector. Symbolising the importance the government places on their marine ecosystem, in 2009, Palau declared its entire Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 600,900 square kilometres a shark sanctuary. As a result, ecotourism and diving adventures visiting the famous Rock Islands provide great opportunities for further growth.

Palau's stunning natural beauty has also been a drawcard for the filming of the hit reality TV show Survivor, in 2005. Over 110,000 visitors from Japan, Taiwan, Korea and the US visited Palau in 2012, a 39% increase from 2010. This is partly thanks to the six international airlines connecting Palau with East Asia and North America. With its proximity to Asia, political stability and strong ties and duty free access to the US, Palau offers lucrative opportunities for foreign investors. Internet access is widely available in Palau and there are several WI-FI hotspots throughout the islands.

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  • COUNTRY PROFILE: PALAU

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