8 Aug 2005

Vanuatu finance minister would like to see more French investment

1:47 pm on 8 August 2005

Vanuatu's Finance Minister Moana Carcasses says he would like to see France invest more in its former colony.

Mr Carcasses says it is encouraging that last year saw Vanuatu's economy grow by 4.8 percent, more than the population growth of 2.6%.

But he says if Vanuatu doesn't have donor investment to develop and improve its infrastructure, the economy will lag.

Mr Carcassess says nearly 50 percent of ni-Vanuatu speak French, but there's little

investment by France in their country compared to neighbouring New Caledonia, which has a similar population size.

He says last year New Caledonia's budget was 1.3 billion US dollars while Vanuatu's was 82 million.

"So it's not comparable. So we believe that France can do more for us. We don't ask that the French government come and colonise us - no that's not the case. The thing is, they can do much more for us. If they can put two or three billion vatu more, for them it's small - for us, it's very big."

Vanuatu's finance minister, Moana Carcasses