Cook Islands Business, Taxation and Offshore Information
The Cook Islands are a self-governing parliamentary democracy in a loose constitutional association with New Zealand. The Queen is Head of State and New Zealand has a High Commissioner. There is a Prime Minister and a cabinet appointed from among elected members of parliament. The population of 10,777, ethnically similar to New Zealand Maoris, occupies widely scattered islands in the South Pacific half way between New Zealand and Hawaii. The time zone is 10 hours behind GMT. The capital, Avarua, on Raratonga Island, has direct flights to Los Angeles, Hawaii, New Zealand etc. The climate is tropical and there are typhoons in summer.
The economy is import dependent and loose fiscal policies led to 'bankruptcy' in 1996. Some recovery has followed Government cut-backs and assistance from New Zealand. Exports include copra, pearls and fruit. The tourist industry is vital, and the offshore sector is the second biggest source of government revenue. The currency is the New Zealand dollar. There are no exchange controls. Unemployment and inflation are low. There are significant investment incentives available to foreign-owned businesses. The law is based on English common law. More »