The republic of Kiribati is an independent country comprising 33 atolls in three main groups running 4,000 kilometres along the equator. Kiribati's EEZ is the largest in Micronesia.
Kiribati faces significant challenges because of its remoteness, lack of scale and vulnerability to external shocks and environmental stress. Kiribati relies heavily on fishing revenue and remittances from citizens employed abroad, which are both affected by external circumstances, in particular fish migratory patterns and the state of the global economy.
Despite limited resources, Kiribati has largely had a solid record of financial stability since independence in 1979, due to cautious domestic spending and a deliberate policy of investing additional funds in Kiribati's sovereign wealth fund.
Australia and Kiribati enjoy longstanding relations based on regional cooperation, trade links, development assistance, support for maritime surveillance and security cooperation, and people to people contacts.
Recently, revenue from fishing licence fees has increased dramatically in Kiribati and donor-financed infrastructure projects have boosted growth. Steps are being taken to reduce the hurdles to private sector growth, among which are high transportation and communication costs and the increasing impact of climate change.
Australia’s development cooperation aligns with the SDGs and Kiribati’s development priorities, which include improving education and implementing the Economic Reform and Kiribati Vision for 20 Years 2016-2036 plans. Across all investments, Australia seeks to strengthen Kiribati’s capacity to build climate resilience and to improve gender equality and disability inclusiveness.