30 Jul 2012

A freer New Caledonia market hard but necessary

10:38 am on 30 July 2012

New Caledonia's representative to New Zealand, Yves Lafoy says liberalising trade with New Zealand will be a hard but necessary step for the French territory.

The two governments announced plans for an agreement similar to the free trade deal between New Zealand and Australia during a visit by a New Zealand ministerial delegation to the territory last week

Mr Lafoy says New Caledonia hopes to get help from New Zealand in developing agriculture.

"Agriculture is a priority in New Zealand and we're not advanced in that field in New Caledonia, because of the mining situation, we're the fifth [biggest] nickel producer in the world, so, agriculture has a lot of potential here."

Mr Lafoy is the first of five New Caledonian representatives to be posted around the region as part of the territory's move to integrate with its neighbours.