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World Travel Guide > Guides > Oceania > Tahiti and her Islands

The Islands of Tahiti: Doing business and staying in touch

Doing Business in The Islands of Tahiti

Business etiquette in Tahiti is relatively informal. The primary language of trade is French, but English is understood in some business circles, particularly those connected with tourism. Business meetings often start with a handshake and an exchange of business cards.

Office Hours

Mon-Fri 0800-1200 and 1330-1730, Sat 0800-1200.

Economy

The traditional Polynesian economy was largely based on agricultural, but now it only provides a small portion of the country's gross domestic product. Today, the main economic activity is tourism, and many resources are used for local sustenance, such as products from fishing and planting, and materials for the construction of houses and canoes. The traditional exports, particularly vanilla, have declined, but there's still a substantial fishing industry, based on tuna – primarily due to the extension of territorial waters.

Manufacturing is mainly devoted to processing agricultural products, and the small mining industry has evolved since the discovery of phosphate and cobalt deposits. Black cultured pearls, mostly from Tuamotu and Gambier island groups, make up two-thirds of export earnings. The major export destinations are Japan, Hong Kong and France, as well as China, the United States, New Zealand and South Korea.

GDP

US$5.49 billion (2015)

Main exports

Cultured pearls, fish and coconut products.

Main imports

Refined petroleum, food, machinery and equipment.

Main trading partners

France, USA, Japan, China.

Keeping in Touch in The Islands of Tahiti

Telephone

Operator assistance may be required for international calls. There are phone booths (Telecarte) which operate using cards that can be purchased at the airport, bars, magazine stands and the post office. Hotel telephone charges are extremely high.

Mobile Phone

The quality of mobile coverage has improved across the islands over the years. You can use your own mobile phone but beware of roaming charges; a cheaper option is to rent a rechargeable prepaid card or rent a mobile phone while you are there.

Internet

You'll be able to connect to high-speed Internet services throughout the country, and Wi-Fi is available in many hotels and restaurants. Hotels will also have Internet cafés, and other Internet cafés can also be found on many of the main islands.

Post

The postal service is French Polynesia is normally quite efficient, and you can find modern post offices on the main islands. Airmail to Western Europe takes about a week.

Post Office hours

The central office in Papeete is open Mon-Fri 0700-1800, Sat-Sun 0800-1100 hours. Outside Papeete, there is a restricted service in the afternoons and at weekends.

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