Vanuatu’s TourismRebound in 2023

As the global travel landscape reopens, and airlines begin to operate additional flights, Vanuatu, is experiencing a slow recovery in its tourism sector. The opening of international borders in July 2022 marked a pivotal moment for the country, revealing promising insights into visitor arrivals and traveltrends. However, there have been a few setbacks which have proved to be obstacles to the continuedrecovery. In March 2022, the Capital was hit by two cyclones, Kevin and Judy, within a 48 hour period, causing massive damage, power outages and destruction of property. Tourism numbers were significantly affected in the months that followed as hotels and resorts on Efate attempted to rebuild from the damage caused. Some hotels shut down completely. Read more»

VANKLIA- The NationalPayment System

In a Press Release dated 11 September, the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu (RBV) announced, that the automated National Payments System (NPS) – VANKLIA - was live.What is the National Payment System NPS (VANKLIA)VANKLIA is the automated transfer system (ATS) that is used to facilitate transactions between banks inVanuatu. It is a clearing and settlement system that combines the functions of Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) for high-value/urgent payments with those of an Automated Clearing House for Bulk/Low-value payments. It also includes a Central Security Depository (CSD). Read more»

Rampant Inflation

On the 26 September, the Vanuatu Bureau of Statistics released the June Quarter 2023 Consumer Price Index update. This report is published quarterly and is used as an indicator of the inflation rate. The CPI is used to measure the changes in the prices of goods and services purchased by households over a period of time calculated from the monitoring of exactly the same goods and services each quarter. The change in prices is commonly referred to as the Inflation rate. Read more»

The Rooftop Revolution in Vanuatu

The National Energy Roadmap of Vanuatu was launched in 2013 by the Vanuatu GovernmentThe overall vision of the 2013 version of the National Energy Road Map (NERM) was to energize Vanuatu’s growth and development through the provision of secure, affordable, widely accessible, high-quality, clean energy services for an educated, healthy, and wealthy nation. Vanuatu’s NERM was first endorsed by the Council of Ministers in 2013. At that time, the NERM identified five priorities for the energy sector: access, petroleum supply, affordability, energy security, and climate change. The roadmap was updated in 2016. Read more»

The Vanuatu Minimum Wage Increase

On May 9 the Vanuatu Government announced that the minimum wage for workers would be 300 vatu per hour effective from the 1st June. This increase was a 36% increase from the previous rate of 220 vatu.The background to the minimum wage increase.Over the past few years, there has been extensive public discourse regarding the minimum wage. The previous rate, set at 220 vatu since 2019, saw an increase from 200 to 220 per hour. Prior to that, in 2017, the rate had risen from 170 vatu. Due to the economic conditions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, any discussions regarding minimum wage increases were postponed. Read more»

The Citizenship by Investment Program

Is Vanuatu killing the Goose that lays the Golden Egg?Recently, Vanuatu's Citizenship by Investment programs have faced increased scrutiny due to negative publicity in the international media. Specifically, concerns have been raised over the granting of Vanuatu citizenship to the Gupta Brothers, who are wanted by South African authorities on corruption charges, and allegations that Chinese spies with Vanuatu passports have entered the UK. These programs, which include the Development Support Program (DSP) and the Vanuatu Citizenship Contribution Program (VCP), have been the government's primary source of revenue during the COVID-19 economic crisis. Read more»

STARLINK is coming to Vanuatu

Starlink is a satellite-based internet service provider founded by SpaceX, the space exploration company founded by entrepreneur Elon Musk. The goal of Starlink is to provide high-speed, lowlatency internet access to remote and underserved areas of the world through a network of thousands of small satellites in low Earth orbit. The idea for Starlink came from Musk's desire to revolutionize the telecommunications industry by creating a global network of satellites that could provide internet access to anyone, anywhere in the world. Read more»

Air Vanuatu | CAN IT BE SAVED?

An assessment team of aviation experts from Australia arrived in Port Vila on January 13, 2023, to undertake a rapid assessment of the current situation of Vanuatu’s national flag carrier, Air Vanuatu over a 30 -45 day period. This followed the request of the office of Prime Minister (PM), Ishmael Kalsakau, in December 2022 to formally request Australia’s assistance to support Air Vanuatu. The team was led by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) aviation specialist, David Charlton. Read more»

The Year ahead 2023

THE WORLD ECONOMIC OUTLOOK IN 2023Global growth is slowing sharply in the face of elevated inflation, higher interest rates, reduced investment, and disruptions caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the World Bank’s latest Global Economic Prospects report. The developed world will experience a significant slowdown.The global economy is projected to grow by 1.7% in 2023 and 2.7% in 2024. The sharp downturn in growth is expected to be widespread, with forecasts in 2023 revised down for 95% of advanced economies and nearly 70% of emerging market and developing economies. Read more»

VBR

The Business Sector 2022 YEAR IN REVIEW

Vanuatu started 2022 with uncertainty on what the year ahead would bring. There was the ongoing issues of dealing with COVID, the rollout of vaccines and businesses struggling to keep afloat.EU, Vanuatu visa waiver agreement under threatDue to concerns of deficiencies with screening and background check on applicants, the EU proposed a partial suspension of the visa free travel for Vanuatu passport holders. At the time, citizenship sales had exceeded the 2021 budget and was a significant revenue contributor to the Vanuatu Government. Read more»

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