GOVERNMENT SUPPORTIVE POLICIES

Government policies that enhances a business environment with opportunities for growth and profits have made Vanuatu an attractivea competitive investment destination in the region.

DEMONSTRATED COMMITMENT

The Vanuatu Government is convinced that the best option of foreign capital inflow that guarantees fast and sustainable growth development results is Foreign Direct Investment.

Policy reforms, review and developments for greater policy coherence

This is why;

  • fostering an open, transparent and conducive national policy environment for investment and
  • promoting coherence in national and international investment policy making

remains a key objective for the Vanuatu Government.

A private sector-led growth principle has been and remains the government's focus since the comprehensive reform program it undertook more than a decade ago. The government recognizes the numerous benefits foreign direct investments will offer that will directly contribute to improving the living standards of its citizens.

The recognition and trust the government has on private enterprises as the engine for economic diversification and sustainable economic growth underpins most of the current government policy initiatives. This is reflected through ongoing policy reforms and developments focusing on sectors where maximum benefits are guaranteed.

Liberal Equity Policy
There is no restriction in business ownership in Vanuatu. Foreign investors are allowed hold 100% of the equity in all investments in new projects, as well as investments in expansion / diversification projects by existing companies irrespective of the level of the nature of business activity.
Fostering a welocoming environment
Vanuatu has made excellent progress to ensure a welcoming and conducive business environment in the country. This effort has seen a number of policy frameworks developed and well established, thus providing foreign affiliates greater assurance and certainty in choosing Vanuatu as their investment destination.
  • At the national level, The National Trade Policy Framework, National Industry Policy and The Overarching Productive Sector Policy have contributed to provide confidence to existing and potential investors.
  • Internationally, Vanuatu has been well represented and recognized in the area of international trade and investment by key players in international market. Vanuatu became a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2012. In addition it has progressed a number of regional and international trade agreements such as the PacerPlus and the MSG Agreement. Positive results are guaranteed as a result of this commitment to these trade agreements - that being a member of such international agreements - this will see increase in the number of foreign investment.
  • The review and update of Vanuatu's National Investment Policy will ensure coherence in existing and future sector policies - a sure remedy for a favorable investment environment.
Economic Development Zones
The development of economic and industrial zones is a policy initiative by the Government to address difficulties to accessing land by foreign investors. The recently launched "Santo Economic Development Zone" is designed to host manufacturing industries including other light services industries. For the first time the Government has established an economic development zone aimed at enhancing its economic performance. The majority of the FDI projects are located in the capital - Port Vila. The establishment of this zones is in line with the national Government's decentralization policy. Espiritu Santo is Vanuatu's largest island boasting the longest road networks in the country, hosting the logest wharf in the pacific, acts as the hub for the country's northern region and is the main export base of Vanuatu. Santo EDZ is strategically located to capitalize on the island's strengths and with a potential to achieve high growth performance.

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National Educational Institutions

Ensuring a workforce with the right and quality skills is a key determinant for foreign inward capital flows. The Government's commitment to strengthening the education sector have seen the introduction and establishment of key institutions critical to improve Vanuatu's labour skills.

The Australian and Pacific Technical College (APTC) to provide specialized training to the people of Vanuatu. For example the Hospitality Program was introduced to address the demand for quality services in the tourism industry. To date this program alone claims the highest number of enrollments each year compared to other programs.

The APTC was designed as a centre of training excellence, helping country citizens to gain Australian-standard skills and qualifications for a wide range of vocational careers throughout the Pacific – careers where skilled employees are in high demand. The Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) is an Australian Government initiative announced at the Pacific Islands Forum in October 2006 and welcomed by Pacific Island leaders. The APTC is funded by the Australian Government and managed through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade - Australia Aid.

The Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Strengthening Program is an Australian Government funded Program which aims to support economic development through targeted skill development services.The Program encourages a more responsive and better quality training system that is able to meet the skill demands of the productive sectors in provincial communities.

TVET Centres have been established in Sanma, Malampa, Torba and Tafea provinces which coordinate a range of demand-driven training and business development support services. The TVET Centres have now been formally integrated within the structure of the Ministry of Education and Training.

With around 70% of the Vanuatu population aged under 25, enabling access to skill development services to increase employment opportunities and educational pathways is a priority area for the TVET Centres.

The Vanuatu Agriculture College was created in 2005 by an act of Parliament (The Vanuatu Agriculture College Act, NO. 51 of 2005). Originally just teaching livestock, however over the years new courses such as agri-business, horticulture, aquaculture, forestry, communications and IT have been added. Vanuatu Agriculture College among other institutions will continue to implement some of the processes of educating business oriented farmers who can transform subsistence agriculture into commercial production. Whilst maintaining crucial features of Vanuatu’s traditional mixed cropping practices. These methods can be then improvised through research and integrated into small commercial farming enterprises.

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