The graduation of Kiribati from Least Developed Country (LDC) status is currently under review. Kiribati has met the formal criteria for graduation, and if this occurs, the Micronesian nation would lose access to the International Support Measures (ISMs) that LDCs are entitled to, including market access and trade, development assistance and general support. While Samoa has already graduated, four other Pacific island countries (Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Kiribati and Tuvalu) ...are still LDCs. All four are facing the prospect of graduation.
The LDC category was created as recognition that certain countries face particularly serious obstacles to achieving the structural transformation needed to advance economically and socially. Most non-LDC developing countries still receive aid, but graduation should mark the point at which an LDC has developed sufficiently to no longer require the maximum concessionary treatment from development partners and use of ISMs).
For Kiribati, the main impacts are on the export of tuna loins and related processed fish products, which constitute major elements of the current fisheries development strategy. While products currently sent to Australia and the US would be unaffected, products sent to Japan and the EU would face higher tariffs.