10 Jul 2007

French President to visit Tahiti later this year

10:32 am on 10 July 2007

The French Polynesian president, Gaston Tong Sang, says the new French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, will visit Tahiti in late October or early November.

Mr Tong Sang says the Papeete meeting will include the signing of a contract worth just under 600 million US dollars for development projects in French Polynesia.

After meeting Mr Sarkozy in Paris, Mr Tong Sang said France would pay for the construction of 240 housing units a year from next year.

Mr Tong Sang says there is a plan to make French Polynesia a showcase of French know-how in the region.

In 2005, both French Polynesia's Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party and New Caledonia's pro-French party announced that Mr Sarkozy would visit their territories but that didn't happen.