Economy of New Caledonia

New Caledonia is a major source for nickel and contains roughly 10% of the worlds known nickel supply. The islands contain about 7,100,000 tonnes of nickel. With the annual production of about 107,000 tonnes in 2009, New Caledonia was the world's fifth largest producer after Russia (266,000), Indonesia (189,000), Canada (181,000) and Australia (167,000).[3] In recent years, the economy has suffered because of depressed international demand for nickel, due to the ongoing global financial crisis. Only a negligible amount of the land is suitable for cultivation, and food accounts for about 20% of imports. In addition to nickel, the substantial financial support from France and tourism are keys to the health of the economy. In the 2000s, large additions were made to nickel mining capacity. The Goro Nickel Plant is expected to be one of the largest nickel producing plants on Earth. When full-scale production begins in 2013 this plant will produce an estimated 20% of the global nickel supply.[4] However, the need to respond to environmental concerns over the country's globally recognized ecological heritage, may increasingly need to be factored into capitalization of mining operations.

The GDP of New Caledonia in 2007 was 8.8 billion US dollars at market exchange rates, the fourth-largest economy in Oceania after Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii.[5] The GDP per capita was 36,376 US dollars in 2007 (at market exchange rates, not at PPP), lower than in Australia and Hawaii, but higher than in New Zealand.[5]

In 2007, exports from New Caledonia amounted to 2.11 billion US dollars, 96.3% of which were mineral products and alloys (essentially nickel ore and ferronickel).[6] Imports amounted to 2.88 billion US dollars.[6] 26.6% of imports came from Metropolitan France, 16.1% from other European countries, 13.6% from Singapore (essentially fuel), 10.7% from Australia, 4.0% from New Zealand, 3.2% from the United States, 3.0% from China, 3.0% from Japan, and 22.7% from other countries.[6]

Economy of New Caledonia
Goro mine tailings dam
CurrencyCFP franc
Calendar year
GDPIncrease$11.1 billion (2014 est.)
GDP growth
Increase2.8% (2014 est.)
GDP per capita
Increase$38,800 (2012 est.)
GDP by sector
agriculture: 1.4%; industry: 26.8%; services: 71.8% (2014 est.)
Decrease0.4% (2014 est.)
Labour force
106,400 (2010 est.)
Labour force by occupation
agriculture: 2.7%; industry: 22.4%; services: 74.4% (2010 est.)
Unemployment17.1% (2004 est.)
Main industries
nickel mining and smelting
ExportsIncrease$1.43 billion (2014 est.)
Export goods
ferronickels, nickel ore, fish
Main export partners
 France 18.4%
 Japan 15.7%
 South Korea 12.1% (2014 est.)[1]
ImportsDecrease$3.04 billion (2014 est.)
Import goods
machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals, foodstuffs
Main import partners
 France 22.2%
 Singapore 18.6%
 Australia 10.9% (2014 est.)[2]
Increase$112 million (31 December 2013 est.)

All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars.


As of 2007, about 200 Japanese couples travel to New Caledonia each year for their wedding and honeymoon. Oceania Flash reported in 2007 that one company planned to build a new wedding chapel to accommodate Japanese weddings to supplement the Le Meridien Resort in Nouméa.[7]

New Caledonia is a popular destination for groups of Australian high school students who are studying French.

See also


  1. ^ "Export Partners of New Caledonia". CIA World Factbook. 2014. Retrieved 2015-07-18.
  2. ^ "Import Partners of New Caledonia". CIA World Factbook. 2014. Retrieved 2015-07-18.
  3. ^ "Nickel" (pdf). USGS. 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-10.
  4. ^ "Goro Nickel Project, New Caledonia". Retrieved 2011-02-10.
  5. ^ a b Institut de la statistique et des études économiques de Nouvelle-Calédonie (ISEE). "Chiffres clés" (in French). Archived from the original on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2011-02-10.
  6. ^ a b c Institut de la statistique et des études économiques de Nouvelle-Calédonie (ISEE). "Bilan économique et social 2007 - Échanges Extérieurs (on page 23)" (PDF) (in French). Retrieved 2008-05-29.
  7. ^ "Plan for new chapel." (Archive) Papua New Guinea Post-Courier. Weekend Edition, Friday 29 January-Tuesday February 2, 2007. Retrieved on 20 August 2013.
New Hebrides franc

The Franc was the currency of the Anglo-French Condominium of the Pacific island group of the New Hebrides (which became Vanuatu in 1980). It circulated alongside British and later Australian currency. The New Hebrides franc was nominally divided into 100 Centimes, although the smallest denomination was the 1 franc. Between 1945 and 1969, it was part of the CFP franc.

Nickel mining in New Caledonia

Nickel mining in New Caledonia is a major sector of the New Caledonian economy. The islands contain about 7,100,000 tonnes of nickel which is about 10% of the world's nickel reserves. With the annual production of about 107,000 tonnes in 2009, New Caledonia was the world's fifth largest producer after Russia (266,000), Indonesia (189,000), Canada (181,000) and Australia (167,000). Nickel production in New Caledonia accounts for 7–10% the country's GDP and is responsible for as much as 80% towards foreign earnings. With the exclusion of tourism, nickel ore and derived metallurgical products represent about 97% of the total value of exports.

Nouméa Accord

The Nouméa Accord of 1998 is a promise by the French Republic to grant political power to New Caledonia and its original population, the Kanaks, until the territory decided whether to remain a special collectivity of France or become an independent state in a referendum held in 2018. France would continue to control military and foreign policy, immigration, police and currency until that time, and afterwards if the population chose to remain French.

Named after New Caledonia's capital and largest city, the Nouméa Accord was the second accord following the Matignon Agreements (1988). It was signed 5 May 1998 by Lionel Jospin, and approved in a referendum in New Caledonia on 8 November, with 72% voting in favour.

Under the conditions of the Accord, which also gave additional autonomy to the island, the Vice President of New Caledonia must be a pro-independence politician if the Presidency is held by an anti-independence politician.

Outline of New Caledonia

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to New Caledonia:

New Caledonia – "sui generis collectivity" (in practice an overseas territory) of France, comprising a main island (Grande Terre), the Loyalty Islands, and several smaller islands. It is located in the region of Melanesia in the southwest Pacific. At about half the size of Taiwan, it has a land area of 18,575.5 square kilometres (7,172 sq mi). The population was 244,600 inhabitants as of January 2008 official estimates. The capital and largest city of the territory is Nouméa. The currency is the CFP franc.

Since 1986 the United Nations Committee on Decolonization has included New Caledonia on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories. New Caledonia will decide whether to remain within the French Republic or become an independent state in a referendum sometime after 2014.

Its capital Nouméa is the seat of the regional organization the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (formerly the South Pacific Commission).

Outline of Oceania

The following outline is provided as an overview and topical guide to Oceania.

Oceania is a geographical, and geopolitical, region consisting of numerous lands—mostly islands in the Pacific Ocean and vicinity. The term is also sometimes used to denote a continent comprising Australia and proximate Pacific islands.The boundaries of Oceania are defined in a number of ways. Most definitions include parts of Australasia such as Australia, New Zealand, and New Guinea, and parts of Maritime Southeast Asia. Ethnologically, the islands of Oceania are divided into the subregions of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia.

Tourism in New Caledonia

New Caledonia was "largely indifferent to tourists ... as long as nickel mining remained economically dominant". After the Korean War and Vietnam War, world prices for nickel collapsed (1970s) and aggressive marketing campaigns were initiated for the territory.

Sovereign states
Associated states
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Economies of the dependencies of European Union states European Union
United Kingdom


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