French Polynesia - International trade



French Polynesia's narrow economic base leaves it dependent on imports for many of its basic goods, and its trade deficit has traditionally been a heavy one. In 1996, the country imported $860 million in goods while exporting only $212 million. The consumer culture that French subsidies have tended to encourage has given the islands one of the largest import-export imbalances in the world. In 2000 imports exceeded exports by a factor of around 5 and accounted for 19.3 percent of GDP, but the gap has been slowly closing. In 1991 the territory's imports had been worth nearly 40 times their exports. The largest supplier of goods to the islands is France, which provided 44.7 percent of the islands' imports (1994); a further 13.9 percent comes from the United States. Exports go to the United States (11 percent, 1994) and France (6 percent). Imports include food, fuel, building materials, consumer goods and automobiles; exports include copra, cultured pearls, vanilla, and perfume.

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