| Gross Domestic
Products: US$ 37.2 million (in 2003).
Main exports: Cocoa, copra, beef and veal, timber, kava
The Main imports: Machinery
and transport equipment, fuel, foodstuffs, basic manufactured goods
The Main trade partners:
New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia and the European Union.
and fishing occupy 40 % of the working population.
Fruit and vegetables are grown for domestic consumption while copra,
coffee, beef and veal are the main export products. The sale of
fishing licences to foreign fleets is another significant source
of revenue. There is also a sizeable timber industry, initially
encouraged by the Government but now strictly regulated in the wake
of international pressure. The industrial sector is mainly concerned
with food processing and construction. Identified mineral resources,
including manganese, copper and gold have yet to be exploited on
a commercial scale.
While mineral deposits may be of future value to
the Vanuatu economy, the Government’s recent efforts to expand
the economy have been focused on the service sector. The most significant
of these is tourism,backed by the construction
of new hotels and airport improvements, allied to a focus on ecotourism,
and offshore financial services. Tourism is worth about US$ 55 million
to the economy each year. Visitor numbers have increased considerably
over the last 12 months. A flag of convenience shipping register
was also created.
Despite these efforts, the economy is still vulnerable
to its geographical circumstances, a severe earthquake followed
by a tsunami in late 1999 caused substantial damage to many islands.
Meanwhile, offshore finance has run into trouble. In April 2002,
Vanuatu was 1 of 7 countries named and shamed by the Organisation
for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and threatened with
sanctions for its failure to take adequate measures against money
laundering. Since then, the Vanuatu authorities have intensified
their financial services regulatory regime. Foreign aid remains
essential to sustain the economy, which is currently growing at
2.4 % annually. In 2002, Vanuatu signed up to the newly established
regional trade bloc created under the Pacific Island Countries Trade
Agreement (PICTA). New Zealand, Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom
and France are the principal donors.
A casual approach to business exists in Vanuatu.
Shirts and smart trousers will be sufficient, ties are only necessary
for the most formal occasions. Business is conducted in French or
General Office hours are
Monday to Friday 7.30 am to 11.30 am and 1.30 pm to 4.30 pm.
Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce
Address: PO Box 189, Port-Vila, Vanuatu
Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority
Address: 1st Floor, Pilioko House, Port-Vila, Vanuatu
Website address: www.investinvanuatu.com