HAWAII CULTURAL CENTER EYES POLYNESIAN EXPORTS

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SUVA, Fiji (Oceania Flash, June 4) - French Polynesia is
considering boosting its exports to Hawaii and Fiji, the territorial government
said on Wednesday.

In the case of Hawaii, a special emphasis would be placed on
handicrafts.

Economy and finance minister Georges Puchon made the
announcement this week after talks with visiting Hawaii-based "Polynesian
Cultural Center" marketing director, Sunshine Barrett.

The cultural center, a major tourist attraction on Oahu,
features the arts and culture of Polynesia.

The Polynesian Cultural Center is looking at establishing a list
of regular suppliers for artifacts it would market to tourists.

Meanwhile, following last week's visit by a significant trade
delegation from the Fiji Islands headed by foreign affairs and trade minister
Kaliopate Tavola, the governments of French Polynesia and Fiji are now working
on an agreement to formalize free trade arrangements between the two parties.

Last week, during Tavola's visit, French Polynesia's President
Gaston Flosse suggested the notion of such an agreement, which would be
reciprocal and gradually lower and eventually suppress all trade barriers on
goods and services imports from each signatory.

Earlier this week, at the end of their mission in Pape'ete,
Tavola and Fiji's Trade and Investment Board (FTIB) executive Shiu Raj met
economy minister Georges Puchon to start discuss practicalities of the proposed
agreement.

Tavola also said the one-week mission in French Polynesia had
been a "great success".

Last week, Flosse announced that at least two vessels of
Tahiti's intended tuna fishing fleet would be built by Fiji's shipyards.

The Tahiti Nui Rava'ai company, a semi-governmental body, which
coordinates the whole fleet-building exercise and channels the funds, has also
announced earlier this week that it had just placed orders for four other
fishing vessels. Those are to be built by four different shipyards within French
Polynesia (Technmarine, Marinalu, Nautisport Industries and the largest shipyard
in French Polynesia, the Chantier Naval du Pacifique Sud). Delivery is expected
to take place by the end of the year.

Tahiti Nui Rava'ai Chairman Pierre Teriitehau said to date, 23
tuna long-line, semi-industrial  fishing vessels have been ordered, 13 of
which have been delivered by local shipyards and another ten from overseas
shipbuilders.

Among foreign suppliers are shipyards in China (5 to be
delivered in September), Korea (5 to be delivered next month).

The new boats are expected to bring the total tuna-catching
capacity in French Polynesia to 600 tons per year.

June 5, 2003

Oceania Flash: E-mail/Courriel: padec@iname.com  

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