Exports of goods and services from Marshall Islands are currently very low, resulting in persistent large trade deficits and slow economic growth. Government is determined to boost exports to reduce trade deficits and create new economic opportunities.
Growth in a small economy critically depends on expanding exports, which OCI is actively promoting.
The main exports are fish, coconut oil, copra cake and handicraft, and the major export markets are US, Japan and Australia.
To boost exports, OCI is encouraging value addition in coconut products and fisheries rather than relying on primary commodities.
It will also support the development of small cottage industries and light manufacturing. OCI will work with the private sector to promote these export opportunities:
Commercial moi (Pacific threadfin) fish farming recently started in Marshall Islands, a project of Aquaculture Technology of Marshall Islands owned by Rongelap Atoll community, with technical and marketing backing from Oceanic Institute and Hukilau Foods of Hawaii.
The venture has received financial support from US Department of Interior, Taiwan, Pacific Islands Development Bank and UBS.
Exports, to Hawaii and US mainland, are expected to start in December 2014.
The major export of services, include transport related services, fish processing and telecommunications.
There are no tax on exports of goods and services from Marshall Islands. Also export enterprises that invest more than $1m and pay wages in excess of $150,000 a year to citizen workers, are exempt from gross revenue tax for 5 years.
Exports from Marshall Islands are entitled to duty free excess into the US under preferential trade agreement provision of the Compact. Thus most of the products enter the US duty free, and the US has 0% tariff fresh or frozen tuna, fresh or frozen tuna fillets, 6-12% for canned tuna in water and 35% for canned tuna in oil.