Author: Jubilee Australia Research Centre

The Jubilee Australia Research Centre engages in research and advocacy to promote economic justice for communities in the Asia-Pacific region and accountability for Australian corporations and government agencies operating there. Find more on their website:

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Is Growth Really the Answer? Australia and the New Pacific Development Agenda

Effective aid programs in the Pacific have long been seen as elusive. Helen Hughes and John Connell have alluded to the ‘Pacific Paradox’– the phenomenon of high aid volumes to the region, contrasted with poor progress on poverty reduction and prospects for self-reliance.[1] This issue has been attributed to the false premise that developing financialised, export-based and market-based economies on these islands will serve as an impetus for bettering the overall quality of life for people. The ongoing scarcity of a strong, educated population base and strategic natural resources continues to threaten the prospect of specialisation for each Pacific Island economy, which is further exacerbated by the challenge and costs of transporting goods to overseas markets. This does not mean that Pacific economies should be cut off from the world. It does, however, mean that there are inherent limits to the scale and speed by which Pacific nations can develop along traditional capitalist lines and, in so doing, integrate into the global economy. Read More …