Christmas Island is an island of about 135 sq. km. south of Indonesia in the Indian Ocean. This Indian Ocean island, inhabited by over 1400 people are dependent on phosphate extraction and tourism for their livelihood. Christmas Island belonging to Australia is administered by the Australian Attorney-General’s department in Canberra.
Phosphate mining had been the most significant economic activity of Christmas Island till 1987 after which mining was stopped by the Australian government. Subsequently, in 1991 mining was reopened. From 1993 till 1998 a US $34 million casino was operational in the island with support of the government of Australia. Since 2001, a commercial space launching site is being constructed.
Tourism is another important economic activity of Christmas Island. With a coastline of nearly 140 km, this island offers unspoilt beaches for enthusiastic tourists.
Phosphate is the only export of this country and consumer goods are the principal imports. Australia and New Zealand are the main trading partners of Christmas Island.