Niue, home to less than 2,000 people, is located in Polynesia, northeast of New Zealand and east of Tonga. It is a self-governing nation in free association with New Zealand, an arrangement dating from October 1974 and hence Niuean people enjoy dual citizenship with the right to enter and live in New Zealand.
Niue’s economy suffers from typical Pacific island constraints, including geographic isolation, little natural resources and a small population that hampers economic development. Niue depends on imported fuel and food from New Zealand to supplement its subsistence agricultural and fishing activities.
New Zealand is Niue’s largest funder which provides substantial economic and administrative assistance to the country in the form of both direct budget support and project-related aid under the New Zealand Aid Programme. Tourism, development of renewal energy and economic governance are the main priorities of the governments. Total aid under the 2018-19 programme amounted to NZ$14.6 million (US$9.8 million).
The tourism industry is small, yet there’s potential for more growth. Since 2014, there has been a 39% increase in tourism related products and services in Niue. Given the increase in air services with twice-a-week flights and improvements in infrastructure and accommodation facilities, it is evident that investment in tourism is paying off.
This little nation uses New Zealand dollar as its currency due to the free association with New Zealand. Interestingly, they have their own commemorative coins with imprints of fictional characters from across the world such as Pokemon and Disney princesses.
China and Niue established diplomatic relations back in 2007 and since then, bilateral cooperation in economy, cultural and people-to-people exchanges have expanded and deepened constantly. According to Lowy Institute’s estimates, China has funded US$1.78 billion for projects in Niue between 2006 and 2016.
Wu Xi, Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand, the Cook Islands and Niue, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation with the Premier of Niue in July 2018 regarding the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), looking to promote bilateral cooperation and sustainable development of the Pacific region.
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