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Country name:

conventional long form: Territory of French Polynesia
conventional short form: French Polynesia
local long form: Territoire de la Polynesie Francaise
local short form: Polynesie Francaise
former: French Colony of Oceania

 

Capital:

Papeete (Tahiti Island). Population: 26,181 (census 2002).
 

 

Location:

Oceania, archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from South America to Australia

 

Area:

4,167 sq km (1,609 sq miles).

 

Description:
French Polynesia comprises 120 islands divided into five archipelagos: the Society Archipelago, Tuamotu Archipelago, Marquesas Islands, Austral Islands and Mangreva Islands. The Windward and Leeward Islands, collectively called the Society Archipelago, are mountainous with coastal plains. Tahiti, the largest of the Windward group, is dominated by Mount Orohena at 2,236m (7,337ft) and Mount Aorai at 2,068m (6,786ft). Moorea lies next to Tahiti, a picturesque volcanic island with white sand beaches. The Leeward Islands to the west are generally lower in altitude. The largest islands are Raiatea and Bora Bora. Tuamotu Archipelago comprises 80 coral atolls, located 298km (185 miles) east of Tahiti. The Marquesas Islands lie 1,497km (930 miles) northeast of Tahiti and are made up of two clusters of volcanic islands divided into a southern and northern group. The grass-covered Austral Islands south of Tahiti are scattered in a chain from east to west over a distance of 499km (310 miles).
 

map of French Polynesia

Population:

252,000 (UN estimate 2005).
 

 

Languages:

The official languages are French and Tahitian. Other Polynesian languages are spoken by the indigenous population. English is widely understood, mainly by islanders accustomed to dealing with foreign visitors.
 

Economy - overview:

The traditional Polynesian economy was agricultural, but that sector now accounts for less than 5% of total output and employment. Coconuts are the principal cash crop and vanilla, coffee and citrus fruit are also produced in quantity. There is a substantial fishing industry, based on tuna, most of the income of which is derived from licences granted to foreign fleets. Manufacturing is mainly devoted to processing agricultural products and a small mining industry has evolved following the recent discovery of phosphate and cobalt deposits.

French Polynesia as a whole has suffered from a serious unemployment problem since the end of French nuclear testing in the mid 1990s; although much disliked by local governments and the majority of their peoples, the tests provided many construction and service jobs. As a result, Tahiti now depends heavily on remittances from migrant workers.

The government believes that tourism offers the best, and perhaps the only, prospect for a self-supporting economy. At present, French Polynesia as a whole receives around 230,000 visitors annually, and the industry is worth over US$400 million annually.

The territory suffers from a serious trade deficit (imports exceed exports by a factor of 10) so that considerable aid is needed from the French to balance the country's finances.

Economy:


The traditional Polynesian economy was agricultural, but that sector now accounts for less than 5% of total output and employment. Coconuts are the principal cash crop and vanilla, coffee and citrus fruit are also produced in quantity. There is a substantial fishing industry, based on tuna, most of the income of which is derived from licences granted to foreign fleets. Manufacturing is mainly devoted to processing agricultural products and a small mining industry has evolved following the recent discovery of phosphate and cobalt deposits.

French Polynesia as a whole has suffered from a serious unemployment problem since the end of French nuclear testing in the mid 1990s; although much disliked by local governments and the majority of their peoples, the tests provided many construction and service jobs. As a result, Tahiti now depends heavily on remittances from migrant workers.

The government believes that tourism offers the best, and perhaps the only, prospect for a self-supporting economy. At present, French Polynesia as a whole receives around 230,000 visitors annually, and the industry is worth over US$400 million annually.

The territory suffers from a serious trade deficit (imports exceed exports by a factor of 10) so that considerable aid is needed from the French to balance the country's finances.

 

Industries:

tourism, pearls, agricultural processing, handicrafts, phosphates

 

Exports:

Cultured black pearls, fish and coconut products.

Imports:

Fuels, food, machinery and equipment.
Main trade partners: France, USA, Japan, Australia and New Zealand

Exchange rates:
http://www.worldtravelguide.net/country/272/business/Australia-and-South-Pacific/Tahiti-and-her-Islands.html

GDP :
US$4.6 billion (2003).
 

 

Useful links:

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  • Trade Associations & Chamber of Commerce
 

 

 

 

 

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  Copyright By :  Kish Trade Promotion Center  2002