FRENCH POLYNESIA ISSUES GOVERNMENT BONDS FOR THE FIRST TIME

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PAPE‘ETE, French Polynesia (April 12, 2001 - Oceania Flash/SPC)---French Polynesia's government, for the first time, has issued a total of 20 million Euros (US$17.7 million) in government bonds, the government's press office reported.

The issuing, which the government labeled as a "total success," was coordinated by Finance Minister Patrick Peaucellier.

The bond issue stipulates a fixed interest rate of 5.4 percent per year over a period of 10 years.

The Standard and Poor’s global agency was selected to monitor the process and come up with an assessment.

Peaucellier said the main purpose of the bond issue is to "secure success for French Polynesia's economic reconversion."

After French nuclear testing ceased at French Polynesia's atolls of Moruroa and Fangataufa in 1996, the CEP (Centre d'Expérimentations du Pacifique) was dismantled.

As a result, military presence in the French territory decreased significantly, having a serious impact on the local economy.

As part of a "post-CEP" plan, France agreed to provide government funding similar to that earlier provided as a result of nuclear experimentation until 2006.

Peaucellier said the loan also will diversify funding sources for the territory's investment budget.

 

FRANCE TO ADAPT METROPOLITAN LAW TO ITS OVERSEAS TERRITORIES

PARIS, France (April 12, 2001 - Oceania Flash/SPC)---France is currently considering a draft bill aimed at adapting French metropolitan law to its overseas territories, including those in the Pacific.

France's Secretary of State for Overseas Administrations Christian Paul presented the draft bill to the French Cabinet.

Specific mention was made of French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna and New Caledonia (the three French Pacific territories), where the adaptation process would concern, in particular, privatization, safety and airport security matters.

For New Caledonia specifically, another area now regulated by French law would also need to be adapted: immigration. New Caledonia, as part of a gradual autonomy process, is preparing to set up local citizenship.

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