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PARIS, France (June 5, 2001- Tahitipresse)---French Polynesia President Gaston Flosse met the Secretary of State for Overseas Territories Christian Paul in Paris Tuesday.

The primary subject for discussion was French Polynesia's economic restructuring fund.

The fund compensates the territory for the disengagement of French armed forces following the end of nuclear testing at Moruroa in January 1996.

Under the project, some 18 billion French Pacific francs, approximately US$ 138 million, is to be devoted each year, for a 10-year period, to building the infrastructure and economy of French Polynesia, including the construction of roads and airports.

Secretary Paul agreed that the board in charge of the fund should meet soon to approve more public investments in French Polynesia.

The board is made up of officials from both the French government and French Polynesia's government.

Air links and fishing industry

During the meeting, President Flosse expressed concern over air link matters.

The French airline AOM, which transports 35,000 passengers to French Polynesia, is undergoing a serious financial crisis and its Paris-Pape‘ete route could be cancelled. Mr. Flosse requested aid from France to permit the Tahitian airline, Air Tahiti Nui, to operate flights from Pape‘ete to Paris.

He also said that Air France should operate more weekly flights to French Polynesia.

Concerning the fishing industry, the president called for the creation of a partly-state owned society to be in charge of the construction of 100 tuna boats for French Polynesia, emphasizing the need for further growth of the fishing industry in Tahiti.

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