Monday, April 17, 2006

Country Focus: Wallis and Futuna

Background: The Futuna island group was discovered by the Dutch in 1616 and Wallis by the British in 1767, but it was the French who declared a protectorate over the islands in 1842. In 1959, the inhabitants of the islands voted to become a French overseas territory

Location: Oceania, islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand

Population: 16,025

Total Area: 274 sq km - 1.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Climate: tropical; hot, rainy season (November to April); cool, dry season (May to October); rains 2,500-3,000 mm per year (80% humidity); average temperature 26.6 degrees C

Natural resources: NEGL

Environment - current issues: deforestation (only small portions of the original forests remain) largely as a result of the continued use of wood as the main fuel source; as a consequence of cutting down the forests, the mountainous terrain of Futuna is particularly prone to erosion; there are no permanent settlements on Alofi because of the lack of natural fresh water resources

National holiday: Bastille Day, 14 July

Economy - brief overview: The economy is limited to traditional subsistence agriculture, with about 80% labor force earnings from agriculture (coconuts and vegetables), livestock (mostly pigs), and fishing. About 4% of the population is employed in government. Revenues come from French Government subsidies, licensing of fishing rights to Japan and South Korea, import taxes, and remittances from expatriate workers in New Caledonia.

Budget: revenues: $20 million; expenditures: $17 million; including capital expenditures of $NA (1998 est.)

Labor force: NA

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture, livestock, and fishing 80%, government 4% (2001 est.)

Agriculture - products: breadfruit, yams, taro, bananas; pigs, goats; fish

Industries: copra, handicrafts, fishing, lumber

Exports: $250,000 f.o.b. (1999)

Exports - commodities: copra, chemicals, construction materials

Exports - partners: Italy 40%, Croatia 15%, US 14%, Denmark 13% (2004)

Imports: $300,000 f.o.b. (1999)

Imports - commodities: chemicals, machinery, passenger ships, consumer goods

Imports - partners: France 97%, Australia 2%, NZ 1% (2004)

Government departments:
Assemblée Territoriale

Wallis and Futuna News

Travel Information:
Wallis & Futuna Travel Information Lonely Planet Destination Guide

Other useful links:
Wallis and Futuna Statistics Office -
Wallis And Futuna Trivia - New Zealand and Pacific Islands Quiz

Previous articles in the series:

Albania Botswana Cayman Islands Djibouti Ecuador Fiji Georgia Honduras Iceland Jamaica Kyrgyzstan Liechtenstein Mauritania Norway Oman Paraguay Rwanda Slovenia Tuvalu Uruguay Vanuatu