The Official Representative of New Caledonia to Australia on a visit to Brisbane [fr]
Yves Lafoy, Official Representative of New Caledonia to Australia, Counsellor at the French Embassy in Canberra went on a mission to Brisbane (April 28 to 30).
The main objective of this business trip was to participate in the hybrid conference "Energy and Mining Projects in New Caledonia", organized by the French-Australian Chamber of Commerce (FACCI Queensland, Brisbane, April 28).
The conference was attended by representatives of the New Caledonian public and private sectors, with an audience of thirty-nine in person and thirty online, mainly Australian entrepreneurs.
M. Christopher Gyges, member of the 16th Government (in a care-taker mode) for Trade, Economy and Energy, spoke from Noumea about : i) New Caledonia’s Covid-Free health status; ii) the Nickel Initiative, to reflect on New Caledonia’s strategic and regulatory choices for this key economic sector; iii) the current policy on mitigating the impacts of climate change (Energy Transition Scheme (2016), increase of photovoltaic projects over the past 3 years); iv) the set-up of a platform (CHOOSE NC!) to promote the attractiveness of New Caledonia ; v) New Caledonia’s willingness to intensify its political and economic ties with Queensland, as expressed in a letter to the Premier of Queensland.
The address from the Official Representative of New Caledonia confirmed that the Territory, with a relationship with Australia that goes back more than 80 years and with economic assets (3rd GDP/capita in the region, 5th largest nickel producer in the world), wished to intensify its relations with its close neighbor.
From Noumea, for the private sector, three speakers from the mining sector (Prony Resources NC, SLN, Koniambo Nickel SAS) and one from the energy sector (ENERCAL), from Noumea, took stock of existing cooperation with Australia, particularly in the area of trade in goods and services, and identified a significant margin for growth.
The day after the conference, M. Lafoy met with:
two representatives of Trade and Investment Queensland, to follow-up on Minister Gyges’ visit to Brisbane in March 2020;
the President and the Director of the Alliance Française Brisbane, with a view to inaugurating, in 2022, a place within the Alliance dedicated to New Caledonia;
the Director of the annual event "Le Festival", for the participation of New Caledonia in the "Francophone Market", which will be held in Brisbane next November;
three representatives of the Queensland University of Technology and the winner of the New Colombo Plan scholarship program, for which New Caledonia is eligible since 2017;
two representatives from the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program, to debrief on the study currently conducted in New Caledonia;
a CSIRO’s representative, as part of the joint project with New Caledonia’s BLUECHAM innovative company, co-financed by the French Pacific Fund.