French Polynesia

Region: Oceania

Capital: Papeete

Population:274,512 (July 2012 - CIA est.)

Surface Area: 4,167 sq km (118 islands and atolls)

Currency: Comptoirs Français du Pacifique franc (XPF)

GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity US $18,000 (2004 – CIA est.)

Background:
The French annexed various Polynesian island groups during the 19th century. In September 1995, France stirred up widespread protests by resuming nuclear testing on the Mururoa atoll after a three-year moratorium. The tests were suspended in January 1996. In recent years, French Polynesia’s autonomy has been considerably expanded.

Economy – Overview:
Since 1962, when France stationed military personnel in the region, French Polynesia has changed from a subsistence agricultural economy to one in which a high proportion of the work force is either employed by the military or supports the tourist industry. With the halt of French nuclear testing in 1996, the military contribution to the economy fell sharply. Tourism accounts for about one-fourth of GDP and is a primary source of hard currency earnings. Other sources of income are pearl farming and deep-sea commercial fishing. The small manufacturing sector primarily processes agricultural products. The territory benefits substantially from development agreements with France aimed principally at creating new businesses and strengthening social services.

Major Export Commodities: cultured pearls, coconut products, mother-of-pearl, vanilla, shark meat

Remittances:700 million USD (World Bank 2011 est.)

Human Development Index 2011 ranking: Not ranked

Official Development Assistance and Major Development Partners: Not available.

Total External Debt: Not available

Life Expectancy At Birth: 76.39 years (CIA)

Sources

CIA World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. www.cia.gov

World Development Indicators. World Bank www.worldbank.org

Development, Recipient Aid Charts. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. www.oecd.org

Human Development Report 2011. United Nations Development Programme. www.undp.org

Updated July 2012