Palau Economy and Culture
The economy is based on agriculture (coconut palms, bananas, sugar cane, coffee) and fishing; moreover, an important source of income is represented by the sale of licenses to foreign fleets, especially Japanese. The secondary is not very developed, while the main resource of Palau is tourism, which is constantly expanding thanks to the natural beauty of the islands. Almost 76% of GDP (US $ 170 million, with a GDP per capita of US $ 8,376) consists of the tertiary sector, 3.3% from the primary sector and 20.8% from the secondary sector. Furthermore, the tertiary sector employs three quarters of the workforce, while less than 10% is engaged in primary activities, just as only 16% of the active population is employed in the secondary sector. Significant economic aid comes from the USA (in exchange for the granting of military bases on the territory), with which Palau signed a Compact of Free Association in 1993. Main export products are copra and tuna, as well as handicrafts; the country instead imports machinery, food, fuel and chemicals. Business partners are the USA, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.
In trust in the USA since June 1947, he first obtained, in 1981, a separate form of autonomy (Republic of Palau) and then, from October 1994, full independence; however, on the basis of a free association agreement approved in a referendum in 1993, the United States manages its defense and relations with foreign countries. In the November 2004 elections, President Tommy E. Remengesau (elected in 2001) was reconfirmed with 64% of the votes. Until October 2006 the capital was Koror, then changed to Melekeok. In November 2008 the presidential elections were held, won by the lawyer Toribiong Johnson with 51% of the votes, while in 2012 Remengesau was re-elected.
In the archipelago of Palau, according to findjobdescriptions, two very different social realities coexist: the modern one of the capital, of a Western style and shaped over the centuries by the presence of Spaniards, Germans, Japanese and Americans (many of the younger ones love baseball and fast-food); and the matrilineal and rural one founded on the clans, on the bai (meeting place and center of village life), on the ceremonials linked to the phases of life (from the omersurch rite for birth to the kemeldiil funerary rite), on songs and oral traditions in the Palau language. The best reference for understanding local history and culture is the Belau National Museum in Koror, where historical artifacts and handicrafts (from canoes to tortoiseshell bracelets) are preserved, although evidence ranging from wall paintings to relics can be found scattered around the islands. of the Second World War. Typical artistic expression of Palau are the carved tables, which reproduce scenes taken from history, myths and popular legends, and which take up the decoration of the bays. Furthermore, all the residents of Palau nurture a special relationship with the sea, a source of livelihood and considered responsible for the fate of the islands.