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Economy of French Polynesia

Economy - overview: Since 1962, when France stationed military personnel in the region, French Polynesia has changed from a subsistence economy to one in which a high proportion of the work force is either employed by the military or supports the tourist industry. Tourism accounts for about 20% of GDP and is a primary source of hard currency earnings. The territory will continue to benefit from a five-year (1994-98) development agreement with France aimed principally at creating new jobs.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.76 billion (1995 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: NA%
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $8,000 (1995 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 4%
industry: 18%
services: 78% (1992 est.)
Inflation rate - consumer price index: 1.5% (1994)
Labor force:
total: 118,744 (of which 70,044 are employed) (1988)
by occupation : agriculture 13%, industry 19%, services 68% (1992 est.)
Unemployment rate: 15% (1992 est.)
revenues: $713 million
expenditures : $1.36 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1994)
Industries: tourism, pearls, agricultural processing, handicrafts
Industrial production growth rate: NA%
Electricity - capacity: NA kW
Electricity - production: 320 million kWh (1994)
Electricity - consumption per capita: 1,409 kWh (1995 est.)
Agriculture - products: coconuts, vanilla, vegetables, fruits; poultry, beef, dairy products
total value: $245 million (f.o.b., 1994)
commodities : cultured pearls 53.8%, coconut products, mother-of-pearl, vanilla, shark meat (1992)
partners: France 33%, US 8.5% (1994)
total value: $967 million (c.i.f., 1994)
commodities : fuels, foodstuffs, equipment
partners: France 44.7%, US 13.9% (1994)
Debt - external: $NA
Economic aid:
recipient : ODA, $NA
Currency: 1 CFP franc (CFPF) = 100 centimes
Exchange rates: Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique francs (CFPF) per US$1 - 98.48 (January 1997), 93.00 (1996), 90.75 (1995), 100.94 (1994), 102.96 (1993), 96.24 (1992); note - linked at the rate of 18.18 to the French franc
Fiscal year: calendar year

Geography of French Polynesia

Location: Oceania, archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, about one-half of the way from South America to Australia
Map references: Oceania
total area: 3,941 sq km
land area: 3,660 sq km
comparative area: slightly less than one-third the size of Connecticut
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 2,525 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
International disputes: none
Climate: tropical, but moderate
Terrain: mixture of rugged high islands and low islands with reefs
Natural resources: timber, fish, cobalt
Land use:
arable land: 1%
permanent crops: 19%
meadows and pastures: 5%
forest and woodland: 31%
other: 44%
Irrigated land: NA sq km
current issues: NA
natural hazards: occasional cyclonic storms in January
international agreements: NA
Note: includes five archipelagoes; Makatea in French Polynesia is one of the three great phosphate rock islands in the Pacific Ocean - the others are Banaba (Ocean Island) in Kiribati and Nauru

Government of French Polynesia

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
Digraph: FP
Government type: NA
National capital: Papeete
Administrative divisions: none (overseas territory of France); there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are 5 archipelagic divisions named Archipel des Marquises, Archipel des Tuamotu, Archipel des Tubuai, Iles du Vent, and Iles Sous-le-Vent
note: Clipperton Island is administered by France from French Polynesia
Independence: none (overseas territory of France)
National holiday: National Day, Taking of the Bastille, 14 July (1789)
Constitution: 28 September 1958 (French Constitution)
Legal system: based on French system
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President of France Jacques CHIRAC (since 17 May 1995), represented by High Commissioner of the Republic Dominique BUR (since NA)
head of government: President of the Territorial Government of French Polynesia Gaston FLOSSE (since 4 April 1991); President of the Territorial Assembly Tinomana EBB (since NA)
cabinet: Council of Ministers; president submits a list of members of the Territorial Assembly for approval by them to serve as ministers
elections: high commissioner appointed by the president of France on the advice of the French Ministry of Interior; president of the Territorial Government and the president of the Territorial Assembly are elected by the members of the assembly
Legislative branch: unicameral Territorial Assembly or Assemblee Territoriale (41 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 12 May 1996 (next to be held NA March 2001)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - People's Rally for the Republic (Gaullist) 22, Polynesian Liberation Front 10, New Fatherland Party 5, other 4
note : one seat was elected to the French Senate on 24 September 1989 (next to be held NA September 1998); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; two seats were elected to the French National Assembly on 21 and 28 March 1993 (next to be held 25 May-1 June 1997 - special election); results - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - People's Rally for the Republic (Gaullist) 2
Judicial branch: Court of Appeal or Cour d'Appel; Court of the First Instance or Tribunal de Premiere Instance; Court of Administrative Law or Tribunal Administratif
Political parties and leaders: People's Rally for the Republic (Tahoeraa Huiraatira) [Gaston FLOSSE]; Polynesian Union Party (includes Te Tiarama and Here Ai'a Party) [Jean JUVENTIN]; Polynesian Liberation Front (Tavini Huiraatira) [Oscar TEMARU]; New Fatherland Party (Ai'a Api) [Emile VERNAUDON]; Independent Party (Ia Mana Te Nunaa) [Jacques DROLLET]; Te Aratia Ote Nunaa [Tinomana EBB]; Haere i Mua [Alexandre LEONTIEFF]; other small parties
International organization participation: ESCAP (associate), FZ, ICFTU, SPC, WMO
Diplomatic representation in the US: none (overseas territory of France)
Diplomatic representation from the US: none (overseas territory of France)
Flag description: two narrow red horizontal bands encase a wide white band; centered on the white band is a disk with blue and white wave pattern on the lower half and gold and white ray pattern on the upper half; a stylized red, blue and white ship rides on the wave pattern; the French flag is used for official occasions

People of French Polynesia

Population: 233,488 (July 1997 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 34% (male 39,958; female 38,492)
15-64 years : 62% (male 75,450; female 69,441)
65 years and over: 4% (male 5,063; female 5,084) (July 1997 est.)
Population growth rate: 1.89% (1997 est.)
Birth rate: 23.27 births/1,000 population (1997 est.)
Death rate: 4.95 deaths/1,000 population (1997 est.)
Net migration rate: 0.59 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1997 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years : 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1 male(s)/female
total population: 1.07 male(s)/female (1997 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 13.7 deaths/1,000 live births (1997 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 72.17 years
male: 69.81 years
female : 74.65 years (1997 est.)
Total fertility rate: 2.77 children born/woman (1997 est.)
noun : French Polynesian(s)
adjective: French Polynesian
Ethnic groups: Polynesian 78%, Chinese 12%, local French 6%, metropolitan French 4%
Religions: Protestant 54%, Roman Catholic 30%, other 16%
Languages: French (official), Tahitian (official)
definition: age 14 and over can read and write, but definition of literacy not available
total population: 98%
male : 98%
female: 98% (1977 est.)