The mainstays of the country's economy are mining, tourism and, to a lesser degree, agriculture and fishing. The agricultural sector produces cereals, fruit and vegetables, as well as copra and coffee for export. The fishing industry trawls primarily for shrimp and tuna, the bulk of which is sold to Japan.
A small light-industrial sector has grown up in the last two decades, producing building materials, furniture and processed foods, largely for domestic consumption. In the mining sector, New Caledonia is the world's largest producer of nickel after Canada and the USA, and has about one-quarter of the world's known deposits; this generates 90% of the country's export revenue. There are also deposits of cobalt, iron, manganese, lead and zinc.
Tourism is the major service industry and remains the most dynamic sector in terms of economic development.
Subventions from France are essential to the territory's economic wellbeing. And, by virtue of its link with France, New Caledonia is an Associate Member of the EU.
Conferences and conventions take place at major hotels such as Le Meridien, Park Hotel and Novotel Surf Nouméa, as well as at the Chamber of Commerce, the Tjibaou Cultural Centre and the South Pacific Commission, all situated in Nouméa.