- Population: 240,390 (2007 estimate)
- Languages: French, Mele-Polynesian dialects
- Ethnic Groups: Melanesian 42.5%, European 37.1%, Wallisian 8.4%, Polynesian 3.8%, Indonesian 3.6%, Vietnamese 1.6%
New Caledonia is located in the South Pacific, close to the Tropic of Capricorn, at the southern end of Melanesia.
- Currency: French Pacific Franc (XPF)
- GDP per capita: USD 15,000 (2007 estimate)
- Exports: Ferronickel, nickel ore, fish
- Government: Territorial Collective of France
- Head of State: President of France
There are no exchange control regulations in New Caledonia, however financial institutions have obligations under French law to report suspicious or unusual transactions to both the New Caledonian and French authorities.
Many state responsibilities are slowly being transferred from France to New Caledonia, however banking and finance is governed by the French State through the Banque de France and its various committees.
One of these committees, the Comité des Etablissements de Crédit et des Entreprises d’Investissement (CECEI), is responsible for issuing banking licences in all French territories, including New Caledonia.
The Commission Bancaire is responsible for protecting depositors. It also acts as a watchdog over the French banking and financial system to ensure its profitability and stability. All banks operating in New Caledonia must report to the Commission Bancaire.
In New Caledonia the Banque de France (the national bank of France) is represented by the Institut d’Emission d’Outre-mer (IEOM), which has responsibility for:
- issuing currency
- supervising the banking system
- providing central banking services to the banking community, companies, individuals and public institutions
- providing economic, financial and statistical data
- implementing and managing monetary policy.