'Developed' status a challenge for the Cook Islands

The Cook Islands is set to become the first Pacific country to graduate from 'developing' to 'developed' nation status next year.

But the minister of finance Mark Brown said it was not fully viable given current challenges and a lack of resources.

Mr Brown said while the change was a major milestone it involved considerable challenges and meant the Cook Islands had to consider a new way of doing business.

He said there were still options to efficiently run the country without the support of the large grants which would cease once the islands are declared a developed nation.

The Cook Islands received about US$51 million in Overseas Development Assistance grants in the 2017/18 financial year, and the change in status would mean that particular funding would no longer be available.

Based on the Cook Islands' gross national income, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, will officially declare the Cook Islands a developed nation in 2018.


Photo: Phillipa Webb / Cook Islands News Cook Islands Finance Minister Mark Brown