Tourism is a significant industry.
In July, the Heiv? festival in Papeete celebrates Polynesian culture and the commemoration of the storming of the Bastille in Paris. After the establishment of the CEP (Centre d'Experimentation du Pacifique) in 1963, the standard of living in French Polynesia increased considerably and many Polynesians abandoned traditional activities and emigrated to the urban centre of Pape'ete. Even though the standard of living is elevated (due mainly to French foreign direct investment), the economy is reliant on imports. At the cessation of CEP activities, France signed the Progress Pact with Tahiti to compensate the loss of financial resources and assist in education and tourism with an investment of about US$150 million a year from the beginning of 2006.
The main trading partners are France for about 40% of imports and about 25% of exports, the other main trading partners are the US, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
Tahitian pearl (Black pearl) farming is also a substantial source of revenues, most of the pearls being exported to Japan, Europe and the US. Tahiti also exports vanilla, fruits, flowers, monoi, fish, copra oil, and noni. Tahiti is also home to a single winery, whose vineyards are located on the Rangiroa atoll.
Unemployment affects about 13% of the active population, especially women and unqualified young people.
Tahitis currency, the French Pacific Franc (CFP, also known as XPF), is pegged to the Euro at 1 CFP = EUR .00838 (approx. 106 CFP to the US Dollar in January 2015). Hotels and financial institutions offer exchange services.
Sales tax in Tahiti is called Taxe sur la Valeur Ajoutée (TVA or value added tax (V.A.T.) in English). V.A.T. 2009 on tourist services is 10% and V.A.T. 2009 on hotels, small boarding houses, food and beverages is 6%. V.A.T. on the purchase of goods and products is 16%.