France to hold summit with Pacific Island countries in French Polynesia

1:48 pm on 29 June 2018

France plans to hold a summit with Pacific Island countries in French Polynesia next year.

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks to journalists after he signed the controversial rail reform, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, on June 27, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / JULIEN DE ROSA

Emmanuel Macron Photo: AFP

This was announced by the French president Emmanuel Macron in Paris when he confirmed his trip to Tahiti at a date yet to be finalised.

France held its inaugural summit with Pacific leaders in Papeete in 2003 when Paris launched its campaign to get New Caledonia and French Polynesia to be admitted as members of the Pacific Islands Forum.

The two territories were admitted two years ago.

Mr Macron said France wanted to anchor itself in the challenges of the Pacific region, which is marked by climate change.

He also said France wanted to help the economic development in the region, be it in fishing or tourism.

Outlining policies for overseas territories, Mr Macron said France is the country with most islands where efforts will be focused on economic development.

When he was in New Caledonia last month, he lobbied for the creation of an Indo-Pacific axis stretching to French Polynesia as a counterweight to China's ascension in the region.