Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas): Economy#

The economy was formerly based on agriculture, mainly sheep farming but fishing and tourism currently comprise the bulk of economic activity. In 1987, the government began selling fishing licenses to foreign trawlers operating within the Falkland Islands' exclusive fishing zone. These license fees net more than $40 million per year, which help support the island's health, education, and welfare system. The waters around the Falkland Islands are known for their squid, which account for around 75% of the annual 200,000 ton fish catch. Dairy farming supports domestic consumption; crops furnish winter fodder. Foreign exchange earnings come from shipments of high-grade wool to the UK and from the sale of postage stamps and coins. In 2001, the government purchased 100 reindeer with the intent to increase the number to 10,000 over the following 20 years so that venison could be exported to Scandinavia and Chile. Tourism, especially eco-tourism, is increasing rapidly, with about 69,000 visitors in 2009. The British military presence also provides a sizeable economic boost. The islands are now self-financing except for defense. In 1993 the British Geological Survey announced a 200-mile oil exploration zone around the islands, and early seismic surveys suggest substantial reserves capable of producing 500,000 barrels per day. Political tensions between the UK and Argentina remain high following the start of oil drilling activities in the waters. In September 2011, a British exploration firm announced that it plans to commence oil production in 2016.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$164.5 million (2007 est.)
$105.1 million (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$55,400 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 95%
industry: NA%
services: NA% (1996)
Population below poverty lineNA%
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 95% (mostly sheepherding and fishing)
industry and services: 5% (1996)
Exports - commoditieswool, hides, meat, venison, fish, squid
Agriculture - productsfodder and vegetable crops; venison, sheep, dairy products; fish, squid
Budgetrevenues: $67.1 million
expenditures: $75.3 million (FY09/10)
Imports - commoditiesfuel, food and drink, building materials, clothing
Exchange ratesFalkland pounds (FKP) per US dollar -
0.6307 (2014)
0.6391 (2013)
0.6472 (2010)
0.6175 (2009)
Exports$125 million (2004 est.)
Debt - external$NA
Fiscal year1 April - 31 March
Imports$90 million (2004 est.)
Industrial production growth rateNA%
Industriesfish and wool processing; tourism
Inflation rate (consumer prices)1.2% (2003)
3.6% (1998)
Labor force5,246 (2006)
Unemployment rate4.1% (2010)
GDP (official exchange rate)$164.5 million (2007 est.)
Taxes and other revenues40.8% of GDP (FY09/10)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-5% of GDP (FY09/10)