France and Fiji Islands

France and Fiji islands

Political relations

France has an embassy in Suva (currently being transferred to a diplomatic presence post (PPD) format) and has trusting and solid relationships with its geographical neighbour Fiji (shared borders with New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna).

Mr Bainimarama welcomed the admission of New Caledonia and French Polynesia to the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and wants the PIF to be opened to all Pacific neighbours.

Visits

Prime Minister Bainimarama visited Paris for the 4th France-Oceania summit on 26 November 2015. He also visited during the COP21 on 30 November 2015. Following a unanimous vote by the Fijian parliament on 11 February 2016, the Republic of Fiji was the first country in the world to ratify the Paris Agreement. The Prime Minister made the journey to New York to sign the agreement on 22 April 2016.

Bilateral relations were also strengthened during the visit made by the French Senate’s France-Vanuatu, Pacific Islands friendship group led by its chair, Senator Catherine Procaccia in September 2016, on the theme of climate change. This visit was followed immediately by a visit to Paris, during December 2016, by the Speaker of the Parliament of Fiji, Ms Jiko Luveni.

On 13 January 2017, Inia Seruiratu, the Member of the Fijian Government responsible for preparing the COP23, was in Paris and met with the Environment Minister’s private office. Mr Bainimarama also met with the Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Mr Nicolas Hulot, alongside the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin on 25 May 2017. The Prime Minister of Fiji also had a telephone conversation with the French President ahead of the announcement of the 12 December conference.

Mr Hulot is expected to represent France at the “pre-COP” which will be held in Fiji on 17 and 18 October.

Economic relations

Economic relations between France and Fiji are getting stronger with the presence of several French businesses in the country, through permanent sites (Total, Pacific Petroleum, Bred, Bolloré Logistics, Accor), or the development of business streams (with Thalès, Alcatel, Vergnet, Airbus, ATR, Schneider Electric and Peugeot).

For more information, consult: http://www.tresor.economie.gouv.fr/File/426937

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

The priorities of our bilateral cooperation are promoting the French language and linguistic issues, professional training, scientific discussions based around major issues in Oceania, such as climate change, environmental protection, the development of renewable energies and the promotion of cultural heritage, all in connection with our regions.

Scientific and academic cooperation helps to reinforce the links between Fiji and the universities and research centres in the French territorial communities in the Pacific (University of New Caledonia, University of French Polynesia, the Research Institute for Development, the Pasteur Institute, the Malardé Institute, the Centre of Island Research and Environmental Observatory). The Alliance Française, the University of the South Pacific and schools from French territories in the Pacific are pursuing an active policy to promote the French language and culture. Several establishments from New Caledonia and Wallis and Futuna are offering their students work placements in Fiji.

Other cooperation

The Armed Forces of New Caledonia (FANC) were the first to re-establish their operational cooperation with the Fijian army during the visit by their high commander, General de Revel, from October 2014. Force Commander Léonard made his first official visit to Fiji from 14 to 16 September 2016, while the Vendémiaire surveillance frigate was docked in Suva. On this occasion, Prime Minister (and retired admiral) Bainimarama welcomed this Southern Cross exercise in which the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) participated.

Under the FRANZ Agreement, the FANC intervenes in the case of natural disasters in collaboration with its Australian and New Zealand partners (for example, during cyclone Winston on 20 and 21 February 2016).

Updated: 3 October 2017

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