18 Feb 2006

French Polynesian firms gearing up for trade mission to New Zealand

11:22 am on 18 February 2006

About 20 French Polynesian companies are currently preparing for a major offensive on the New Zealand market, as part of an unprecedented move to reduce a chronic trade deficit with one of the French Pacific country's largest goods providers.

The news agency Oceania Flash reports the main objective of the proposed trade mission, at a date to be determined, is to "re-balance" trade relations between Pape'ete and Wellington.

A similar trade mission, comprising a dozen local companies, was sent in September last year to Australia.

In 2004, French Polynesia imported around US$11 million worth of goods and in return, it only exported US$1.4 million, essentially black pearls and copra.

The cabinet heard its first aim would be to develop further its black pearl export market in New Zealand.