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French Poynesia - Economy

Between 1962 and 1996, the economy of French Polynesia developed around the activity of the Center of Experimentation of the Pacific. During this period, GDP grew at an average rate of 11% per year, in line with the State's significant financial transfers related to military spending.

The end of nuclear tests in 1996 led French Polynesia, in partnership with the State, to take measures to reorient the economy, notably through the development of infrastructure and increased exports. The ambitions pursued struggled to be realized and the economic and financial crisis of 2008 amplified the difficulties.

While the economy of the territory remains fragile, the positive signs that have been visible since 2014 (turnover growth, imports of capital goods for companies on the rise, increase in tourism and VAT receipts, GDP growth Of 1.8% in value to reach 4.5 billion euros) give hope of an upcoming recovery. In addition, local stakeholders have high hopes about the development potential of the blue economy. Already, Polynesian know-how in the area of SWAC (sea-water air conditioning), sea air conditioning , can be noted . In the longer term, the exploitation of deep mineral marine resources Development perspective.

The Polynesian economy is characterized by the importance of the tertiary sector, which accounts for 85% of value added in 2012. Primary education accounts for 3% of the economy and 4% for construction. Given the narrowness of the markets, the economy is structured around large public or private groups, notably in the energy and mass distribution sectors.

Tourism is a key player in the Polynesian economy: the country's leading source of goods and services, the Polynesian tourism industry has 2,820 enterprises (11% of the total in 2015), which generate 15% Cumulated business in French Polynesia (in 2014, tourists spent 385.5 million in French Polynesia) and employed 17% of employees (10,250 people). This sector is structured around two types of market: land and cruise tourism. The United States remains the leading market for tourists, ahead of European markets and the Asia-Pacific region.

In 2015, 183,800 tourists were welcomed in the territory, representing a slight growth of the sector of 1.8% compared to 2014 (+ 9.9% between 2013 and 2014). This result is in line with the desired trend for the sector to return to visitor levels observed before the 2008 crisis (over 200,000 tourists / year).

Tourism is the subject of a specific policy developed around three major axes: promotion, training and investment support. Within the framework of the project contract concluded between French Polynesia and the State for the period 2015-2020, an envelope of 75 million is dedicated to the financing of facilities for nautical activities and the enhancement of natural sites And cultural.

The Pinctada margaritifera pearl oyster historically used for its pearl, has been operated since the sixties for pearl farming. After successful transplant trials conducted by the Fisheries Department, local investors called on Japanese transplanters to initiate the cultivation of the pearl of Tahiti. However, this activity did not take off until the 1980s. French Polynesia's second-largest resource (54% of its export revenues in 2015), the pearl sector faces new challenges in a weak international context. The volume of raw exports declined (-13%) to 12.5 tons in 2015, its lowest level since 2008. Export earnings declined by 14.6% to 62 million. Japan and Hong Kong are the main buyers of the Polynesian pearl.

With an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of more than 5 million km, or 47% of French EEZs, Polynesian fishing has undeniable assets. For a long time confined to a craft, coastal and lagoon activity, whose production fuels the domestic market, the sector has been the object of a development policy towards a high-seas industrial fishery destined for export since the 1990s. The scarcity of fish resources in the 2000s, with the return of the El Nio climatic phenomenon , has put local armaments at risk. Nevertheless, since 2005, yields are gradually recovering. By 2015, tonnages caught were up (+ 2%) and exports continued to increase (+19% in volume and +28% in value, to 13.4 million).

Agriculture, considered as a pillar of archipelago development, accounts for only 2.2% of GDP and less than 1% of salaried workers in the commercial sector. Local commercial production will amount to 59.5 million in 2014, an increase of 13% compared to 2013. However, according to the Rural Development Service, a significant proportion of production is sold outside the formal Thus diminishing the weight of the sector within the Polynesian economy.

Agriculture remains mainly artisanal, with small family farms and only partially meets the needs of the internal market. Plant-based production with a turnover of 41 M in 2014 (+ 12% over one year).

The cultivation of copra is an important source of income for the populations of the remote archipelagos (Tuamotu). Its treatment by the Huilerie de Tahiti makes it possible to produce an oil destined notably for the makers of monoi , oil perfumed with Tahiti tiare (gardenia taitensis ) which has enjoyed for many years an international reputation.

Local production of fruits and vegetables does not cover the consumption needs of French Polynesia. In 2013, their coverage reached 70% for fruits and 42% for vegetables.

Food production is mainly located in the Society Archipelago. It consists mainly of taro, fei (banana to cook) and sweet potato. Two other productions are worth noting: noni, especially harvested in the Leeward Islands, whose sector is still poorly structured, and poorly controlled outlets and vanilla, which is mainly present in the Iles-sous-le-vent. Production of animal origin (eggs, poultry and pork butchers) accounts for nearly one third of agricultural income, ie 18.4 million in sales in 2014. The use of imports is necessary to meet the needs Of local consumers.

French Polynesia is experiencing strong structural constraints: a restricted internal market that limits economies of scale for local market activities, a relatively high cost of labor which penalizes the competitiveness of Polynesian products, and High dependence on raw materials and energy products.

However, it has succeeded in creating an industry based on agri-food, shipbuilding and the manufacture of intermediate goods for construction, as well as various processing activities (furniture manufacturing, textile industry, printing). The Polynesian industrial fabric is composed mainly of small units (85% of the 2,457 companies listed in the ad hoc inventory in 2015 employed a maximum of two employees).

According to economic accounts published by the ISPF, the industrial sector contributed 8% to the formation of GDP in 2012. It also concentrated 8% of the salaried workforce in the commercial sector at the end of November 2015. By 2015, Represents 13% of the total turnover of companies subject to VAT. As a factor of social cohesion and a means of cultural expression, the sector is dominated by traditional crafts and participates in the maintenance of populations in the archipelagos by providing them with jobs.

With a view to better organizing the sector, the Crafts Department undertook, under the aegis of its supervisory ministry, a process of reflection in order to define the main lines of development and the actions to be carried out in crafts Traditional, culminating in 2009 with the introduction of a professional card of the craftsman. The handicraft department also created four labels, classified by product line (art jewelery and tifaifai) and archipelago (Australes and Marquesas), in order to guarantee the authenticity of the objects.

The Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Services and Trades recorded a decline of 0.9% in the number of craft enterprises in 2015 (8 600 compared with 8 676 in 2014).

The port of Papeete is the maritime link of French Polynesia with the outside world. Its management depends on a public establishment, the Autonomous Port of Papeete. Thanks to the successive master plans, the port infrastructures have been adapted to the economic development of the country. A new marina and a marina were commissioned in 2012 and 2015 in Papeete respectively. The program for 2009-2019 focuses on strengthening security and decongesting the existing port area.

By air, French Polynesia is connected to all continents: Asia (Japan), Oceania (New Caledonia, New Zealand, Cook Islands), North America (United States) and the South (Chile) as well as Europe. It has a unique international airport, in Tahiti (Faa'a), of state competence. Its operation was transferred in 2010 to a mixed economy company, Tahiti Airport (ADT), whose capital is divided between French Polynesia, AFD and EGIS, a subsidiary of Caisse des Dpts et Consignations (CDC ).

Household consumption accounts for more than two-thirds of GDP, illustrating the importance of trade in the local economy. According to the latest economic accounts published by the ISPF, this sector concentrated 21% of the number of companies and 15% of the total workforce in the market sector. Commercial activity stagnated in 2015, faced with weak demand and a likely change in household consumption behavior. The turnover of the sector released in 2015 amounts to 3 billion euros. It squeezed in wholesale (-0.4%) and retail (-0.2%). Imports of foodstuffs, consumer goods and household goods rose, but did not return to pre-crisis levels. Reflecting a change in spending behavior, consumer credit production fell again (-9.1%) and the car market remained depressed (-8.1%).

French Polynesia has entered the era of new technologies through the expansion of the use of computers: telecommunications, telematics and the Internet have grown rapidly. Since the introduction of the Honotua submarine cable linking Tahiti and Hawaii in 2010, French Polynesia has an international optical fiber link to ensure the transmission of a large amount of information over very long distances and High Speed. The development of the digital economy is one of the priorities of the Polynesian government and future investments are envisaged to reduce the digital divide that the archipelagos still suffer today. In early 2016, French Polynesia and New Zealand signed a cooperation agreement for an international Pacific connectivity project.

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Page last modified: 12-07-2017 18:57:52 ZULU