FRANCE PROMISES TO MAINTAIN VANUATU ASSISTANCE

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PORT VILA, VANUATU (March 7, 1999 - PACNEWS)---France will continue to provide Vanuatu with financial and other assistance in helping develop various areas of the island country's economy.

The Director General of the Asia-Pacific Region of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Francois Doppfer, gave the reassurances to Vanuatu's Prime Minister Donald Kalpokas in a meeting in Port Vila last week.

Kalpokas said he is delighted with the French assistance, especially in the infrastructure area, a good example of which, he said, is the airport extension on Espiritu Santo.

Dopffer said Vanuatu now is on a priority list for technical assistance from France.

He said several big projects will receive French funding, including the Port Vila Central Market extension, the upgrading of Santo Airport and the Beleuru Cooperative Project, also on Espiritu Santo.

The Caisse Française de Developpement, he said, also is ready to begin funding such other projects such as electrification on the islands of Malekula and Tanna.

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