Foreign investment legislation was passed in 1986. The Foreign Investment Commission (FIC) grants licenses on a case-by-case basis. Investments over US $171,790 must also be approved by the Cabinet. Performance criteria regarding employment, training and production are often set. Certain local industries are closed to foreign investment including pig farming, poultry farming, millionaire salad exportation, domestic interisland shipping, and wholesaling. Endangered species are protected. Fisheries and the agricultural sector are not closed, but are subject to restrictions.
There has been little appreciable investment in recent years. Government statistics show a total of 21 approved foreign investments from 1995 to September 1997, whereas there had only been five approved foreign investments the previous three years. In 2001, foreign direct investment (FDI) was a negative US $426,000 and portfolio investment was a negative US $5.7 million. Portfolio investment flows have been persistently negative, reaching a peak outflow of US $17.7 million in 1992. The main sectors for investment have been tourist-related activities, shipping, fishing ventures, and the processing and export of fish. The main sources of investments have been the US, Japan, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand.