FRENCH POLYNESIA LEADER IN PARIS TO NEGOTIATE AIRBUS TAX EXEMPTION

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PAPE‘ETE, French Polynesia (Oct. 28, 2002 - Oceania Flash)---French Polynesia's President Gaston Flosse is currently in Paris to negotiate a substantial tax exemption for the planned purchase of two Airbus for the French Pacific territory's flag carrier, Air Tahiti Nui, Flosse's office said on Tuesday in a release.

"We really need the French Finance Ministry's reply very soon on this one. This is becoming urgent so we can pay for those planes (which are currently being customized in Airbus's Toulouse factory), especially since we want them to be delivered end of March, beginning of April."

During talks held earlier this week with French minister for budget, Alain Lambert, Flosse also mentioned similar tax exemptions for tourism investments and fishing-vessel building in French Polynesia.

Flosse also told the French minister he wanted the tax exemption scheme, which was set up to increase foreign and structural investments, to cover a broader range of investments.

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