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World Travel Guide > Guides > Oceania > New Caledonia

New Caledonia: Doing business and staying in touch

Doing Business in New Caledonia

Appointments should be made. Businesspeople generally work long hours and take long lunch breaks, but business lunches are rare as most businesspeople go home at lunchtime. Prices should be quoted in Euros or French Pacific Francs. The best time to visit is May to October.

Office Hours

Mon-Fri 0730-1130 and 1330-1730; Sat 0730-1130.

Economy

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.

GDP

US$8.8 billion (2007).

Main exports

Ferronickels, nickel ore and fish.

Main imports

Machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals and food.

Main trading partners

France, Japan, Singapore, Australia and Taiwan.

Keeping in Touch in New Caledonia

Telephone

There is a 24-hour service for international calls. International calls are bookable at the post office or through hotels. Most hotels have direct dial facilities.

Mobile Phone

Roaming agreements exist with some international mobile phone companies companies including Telstra, Optus and Vodafone Australia. However it may be easier to buy a carte liberte from any local post office – this gives you a prepaid SIM card to make national and international calls. The card is valid for 90 days.

Internet

Public access is available in several internet cafes and at cyber points (computers available for public use in local businesses/ISPs).

Media

Media operates relatively freely. Les Nouvelles Calédoniennes is a French-language daily. L'Hebdo, Les Infos and Télé 7 Jours are French-language weeklies.

Post

The New Caledonia Post and Telecommunications Office (OPT) has approximately 50 branches throughout the island, providing postal and banking services. The main post office, located on rue Eugène Porcheron, is open Mon-Fri 0745-1115 and 1215-1530. Airmail take around four days to get to Australia and New Zealand; one week to get to Europe.

Post Office hours

The post office, located on rue Eugène Porcheron, is open Mon-Fri 0745-1115 and 1215-1530.

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