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Palau is the 207th largest export economy in the world. In 2016, Palau exported $46.1M and imported $395M, resulting in a negative trade balance of $349M.

The top exports of Palau are Non-fillet Fresh Fish ($13.3M), Passenger and Cargo Ships ($6.85M), Unspecified ($783k), Scrap Vessels ($334k) and Other Sea Vessels ($260k), using the 1992 revision of the Harmonized System (HS) classification.

Its top imports are Refined Petroleum ($25.8M), Passenger and Cargo Ships ($19.6M), Surveying Equipment ($7.51M), Cars ($6.12M) and Unspecified ($5.81M).

The Republic of Palau is a collection of islands and borders Indonesiathe Philippines and Micronesia by sea. As such, many traditional foods including fish and coconut, taro and breadfruit products, as well as pork and chicken which are grown at the community level.

There is also a large reliance on imported foods. Food is retailed through 3 main supermarkets and smaller operations that provide wholesaling functions attached to their main retail businesses. These supermarkets – Surangel, WCTC and Payless – are the main food importers into the country. They can, along with other local entrepreneurs, import additional food stocks and other items as required.

There is no food processing industry in Palau with the exception of a tuna packing plant in Koror.

Supplies of bulk food will need to be imported to meet additional humanitarian requirements. The supermarket and hardware stores, given the diversity of products they import and the existing connections they have, will be able to import a wide range of goods for humanitarian response.

All other goods, including computers, white goods, vehicles, plants, equipment and all spare parts are imported both for the US and Asian markets.

The type and quality of goods to be imported however, will need to be monitored closely, as lower quality, cheaper goods are generally what is stocked throughout retail outlets.


For more information, see The Observatory of Economic Complexity – MIT (OEC):


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