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Economy of Oceania
The area known as Oceania has a widely varied economy, with the large nations of Australia and New Zealand having modern, industrial economies, while the smaller island nations depend largely on agriculture, fishing, and tourism.
Australia has a prosperous Western-style mixed economy, with a per capita GDP on par with the four dominant Western European economies, and ranked third on the 2004 Human Development Index and sixth on The Economist world-wide quality-of-life index 2005. In recent years, the Australian economy has been resilient in the face of global economic downturn, with steady growth. Rising output in the domestic economy has been offsetting the global slump, and business and consumer confidence remains robust. Australia's emphasis on reform is another key factor behind the economy's strength.
New Zealand also has a modern, developed economy. Its primary export industries are agriculture, horticulture, fishing, forestry and information technology. There are also substantial tourism and export education industries. The film and wine industries are considered to be up-and-coming.
The other islands of Oceania depend mainly on the primary sectors of agriculture, fishing and mining. Industry is scarce due to the lack of natural resources and room for development. Tourism is also a key industry. Some of the smaller countries even bring in large amounts of money selling stamps to collectors. Unfortunately. imports tend to outpace export capital, leaving most of the smaller nations with a trade deficit.
Farming largely is of tropical fruit, such as bananas and coconut, with coffee being another major export of some of the islands. Spice plants, like vanilla, cacao(the plant that gives us chocolate) and ginger are also major crops.
Fishing is the main food source of the region, given the nature of the region. It is a major export for some of the larger countries, and occasional disputes over fishing rights between nations like Japan and the United States have occured. Cultivated pearls also play some role.
Mining does play some role, mainly in small amounts. Several of the islands export phosphate rocks and other minerals, though supplies are being depleted. The Pacific seabed is only now being exploited, mainly for petroleum, though research is going into mining the manganese nodules that lie in certain regions.