New Caledonia is a special collectivity of France. It has an increased autonomy status, named “Sui Generis”: it was an overseas territory beginning in 1946, but as a result of the 1998 Nouméa Accord, it gained a special status in 1999. A New Caledonian citizenship was established, and a gradual transfer of power from the French state to New Caledonia itself was begun, to last from fifteen to twenty years. New Caledonia is to hold a referendum on independence between 2014 and 2018.
⇒Distance to New Zealand: 2 000 km
⇒Population: 268 767 (recensement 2004)
⇒Inflation rate: +0,6% (2014)
⇒GDP in 2014: NZ$ 12 billlions
⇒GDP growth in 2014: +2,2%
⇒Importation from New Zealand: NZ$ 100 million
⇒Part of Nickel in the exportation: 90%
Economy of New Caledonia
New Caledonia is a fast-growing economy with a GDP growth of 3,6% in 2010 and 2,4% in 2009. Its economy mainly relies on tourism and the primary sector. Nickel is also very important asset. This raw material is very important today, all the developed countries need it. Nowadays New Caledonia is the third world producer (behind Canada and Russia) and it possesses 30% of the world Nickel reserve. This has led to new investments the past years, with companies like Vale or Rio Tinto, and the State also increased its investment by 40% towards the nickel industry.
Political links with New Zealand
High-level political contact between New Zealand and New Caledonia has expanded in recent years and there have been frequent visits and exchanges in the areas of trade, defence, social dialogue, education, tourism, culture and sports. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Murray McCully visited New Caledonia in July 2010 and again in July 2012 and the Minister of Defence Hon Dr Wayne Mapp visited in April 2010.
A New Caledonian delegation, led by President Harold Martin travelled to New Zealand for the 42nd Pacific Islands Forum in September 2011. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé and Overseas Territories Minister Marie-Luce Penchard also attended the Pacific Islands Forum in Auckland in September 2011.
Bilateral trade Between New Caledonia and New Zealand
New Zealand is the third foreign provider of product for New Caledonia (Behind France and Australia) and New Caledonia is the third destination of exportation for New Zealand’s goods.
New Zealand’s key exports to the French territory include meat, dairy produce, a range of fresh and processed foodstuffs, timber, aluminium and building materials. New Caledonia exports mainly tropical fruit and vegetables, fish and pearls to New Zealand. New Zealand Trade and Enterprise has a local representative in New Caledonia (Mr Richard Godin).
Advantages for New Zealanders to trade with New Caledonia
Most of the economy revolves around Nickel mining. There are two large mining projects underway, Goro in the south and Kone in the north. Both projects will require products to support these new mining projects.
New Zealand is usually seen as an excellent and preferred source of supply for quality products, in particular for fresh foods such as meat, seafood and dairy products. New Zealand's excellence in marine, whiteware, timber, housing and education is also recognised.
One of the advantages of New Caledonia’s EU associate membership remains untapped by New Zealand exporters. When a product receives sufficient added value in New Caledonia, it gains free trade access to the EU.