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By Patrick Antoine Decloitre

SUVA, Fiji (Oceania Flash, May 6) – A high-powered trade delegation headed by New Zealand foreign and trade minister Phil Goff to the French Pacific dependencies of New Caledonia and French Polynesia last month has already generated export orders of more than NZ$2 million and contracts worth NZ$16 million, the New Zealand government said in a release.

Part of last month's trade mission was a group of New Zealand business leaders seeking to boost trade volumes with the French Pacific, which is regarded as one of the Pacific's top markets in terms of purchasing power. The delegation included representatives of more than 20 exporters, mostly from the food, aluminium, marine and construction sectors.

Parliamentary Private Secretary to Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton MP Winnie Laban, who was also part of the trip, the positive outcome of the French Pacific tour was "just an entrée" in the developing trade relationship with the two French territories.

"Both enjoy high standards of living by South Pacific standards and both are also major tourism destinations. These two factors elevate the importance of New Caledonia and French Polynesia to New Zealand exporters. Already, both territories are in the top 50 of New Zealand's bilateral trading partners. New Zealand exports to New Caledonia were worth $120.7 million in the year to December and French Polynesia took $167 million", the NZ Trade release said.

May 6, 2005

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