30 Nov 2007

Sarkozy likely to visit French Pacific in April next year

4:00 pm on 30 November 2007

France's President, Nicolas Sarkozy, is set make his first Pacific visit as President in the first half of next year, probably in mid-April.

French State Secretary for Overseas territories, Christian Estrosi, who is in charge of French overseas department and territories, says when he visits the territories, Mr Sarkozy will sign a series of development contracts.

Mr Sarkozy's visit had earlier been announced for the end of October or early November this year, but those plans were abandoned.

The French government had earlier this year committed to a five-year development plan for French Polynesia, valued at around 600 million US dollars.

But it is understood Mr Sarkozy is now planning a scaled down version with a focus on social housing, health and disaster relief and preparedness, costing around 432 million US dollars.