Doing business

Current business situation

New Caledonia is a prosperous economy with advanced infrastructure. The country has the second highest per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the region and contains around 25 per cent of the world’s nickel resources.

It has a political and economic link to France and as a territory offers Australian exporters a route into the European Union. (Source: ADECAL, Why invest in New Caledonia, 19 November 2014)

Australian companies present in New Caledonia provide a range of services such as:

  • mining equipment and maintainence
  • technology
  • training and education
  • building and construction
  • financial
  • food and wine products services.

Business culture

French is the official language of  New Caledonia and an interpreter is strongly recommended when visiting a company for the first time, unless the customer confirms that this is not necessary.

You should address people by Monsieur 'surname' or Madame 'surname'. If your contact has spent time in Australia, they may initiate the use of first names. Personal relationships tend to be a little more formal than in Australia and first names are generally not used until you have established a good relationship.

It is preferable to make appointments prior to visiting customers. Many businesses are small and the contact is likely to be the owner or managing director. Due to the size of the market, 'exclusivity' is likely to be requested and you will undoubtedly be questioned as to the other companies you are visiting, so discretion is recommended. New Caledonia is not as large as other markets, but importers tend to be loyal towards reliable suppliers who are prepared to meet smaller market requirements.

Smart casual is the norm, with tailored trousers and open necked shirt suitable for most business meetings. Suits and ties are rarely worn to business meetings or functions.

Setting Up in New Caledonia

The benefits of setting-up an office can be significant. Whether an individual or a corporation, the process of starting a business requires an understanding of the legal structure,employment, migration and tax law.

Links and resources

Government, business and trade

Chamber of Commerce and Industry New Caledonia
Government of New Caledonia
New Caledonia Customs
New Caledonian Economic Development Board

Media

Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes
Nouvelle-Calédonie 1ère

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