Manila, Philippines (BBN)- Developing Pacific nations must intensify their structural reform efforts to achieve sustainable economic growth and protect themselves from the global economic crisis, a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) study said.

The Pacific’s banking system is well shielded from the most immediate effects of the global financial crisis, as it has generally sound health and raises and invests most of its funds within the region.

However, the island economies are not immune to the ripple effects of a global slowdown – with exports and tourism likely to weaken, overseas remittances expected to decline, and pricing to international capital seen to rise. Offshore investments of national trust funds and pension schemes have fallen in value.

Once the immediate global financial crisis subsides, there are likely to be international moves toward a tighter regulatory system that is more integrated, involving cross-border coordination and collaboration among supervisors, regulators, and central banks, an ADB press statement said on Thursday.

Closer engagement with financial institutions and new strategic approaches to managing the region’s offshore investments need serious consideration, the study recommended.

BBN/SI/SS/AD-23October08-12:32 PM (BST)