Capital city: Tarawa
Currency: Kiribati dollar
Language: English and Gilbertese
GDP USD$599 million
GDP per capita: USD$5,439
Kiribati is a sovereign state in the central Pacific Ocean comprised of 33 atolls and reef islands and one raised coral island, Banaba. Prior to its independence from the United Kingdom in 1979, it was known as the Gilbert Islands (named after the British explorer Thomas Gilbert who sighted the islands in 1788).
As a low-lying coastal country, Kiribati is highly vulnerable to the effects of global warming (rising tides). In 2013, President Tong spoke of ‘climate-change-induced sea level rise as inevitable. For our people to survive, then they will have to migrate.’ In 2014, Kiribati purchased a 20 km2 stretch of land on Vanua Levu (one of the larger Fijian islands, 2,000 km away), as a refuge, should the nation be completely submerged under water.
Any company that wishes to establish a business in Kiribati may apply to the Internal Revenue Board for ‘pioneer status’. This allows for a reduced company tax rate of 10 percent for 5 years (versus the standard company tax rate of 25%).