Vanuatu

Vanuatu’s economy is stabilizing after the devastation of Tropical Cyclone Pam and political instability that resulted in a change of government in early 2016. However, key constraints limit economic growth, including remoteness, small market size, underdeveloped institutions, and limited absorptive capacity. 

PSDI is working with the Government of Vanuatu to address these constraints and create an enabling and inclusive environment for business.

In Vanuatu, PSDI is supporting reforms that create an enabling and inclusive environment for business.

PSDI is working with the Government of Vanuatu to:

  • Increase access to finance through the implementation of a secured transactions framework, and by working with the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu to develop nationally-appropriate financial sector reforms;

  • Strengthen financial institutions, through increased capacity, improved governance, and appropriate regulations;

  • Simplify and modernize business laws, and streamline business registration processes through the implementation of an online companies, business names, and charitable associations registry;

  • Assist Vanuatu to meet the changes required for the anti-money laundering/combatting the financing of terrorism (AML/CTF) framework;

  • Strengthen state-owned enterprise policies and governance, and assess opportunities for public-private partnerships;

  • Support strong competition and consumer protection legislation and policy development;

  • Analyse and work to remove constraints to women’s full economic participation; and

  • Support reforms through advocacy and analytical work.

Resources and Spending

The greatest proportion of PSDI’s spending in Vanuatu is on business law reform, which accounts for 33% of the $3.2 million in PSDI assistance the country has received. This proportion includes the the comprehensive reform of Vanuatu's foundational business laws, culminating in the creation of a multiple entity business registry, which was launched in August 2015.

Financing growth initiatives have received 23% of total funding, used to strengthen the institutional capacity of the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission, support the creation of a secured transactions framework, and pursue microfinance related activities. State owned enterprise (SOE) reform has received 21% of overall funding, including the preparation of an SOE policy and act and ongoing support moved to identifying SOE reform priorities and providing training for SOE directors. 

Vanuatu2007 2019 web2

On this website, $ refers to US dollars unless otherwise stated.

Vanuatu at a glance

Simplified and modernized business laws

PSDI supported a comprehensive reform to foundation business laws in partnership with the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission and the State Law Office.

Faster business registrations

Following the implementation of an online business registry, the average time needed to register a business fell from more than 6 weeks, to just 1.5 days.

35% increase in new company registrations

per year, since the implementation of an electronic registry in 2015.

Secured transactions framework

PSDI supported the creation of Vanuatu’s secured transactions framework with the Personal Property Securities Bill in 2008, and the implementation of an associated securities registry in 2009.

8,000 securities registered

As of end-2019, more than 8,000 security interests over movable assets to be used as collateral for loans have been registered in Vanuatu using the PSDI-supported secured transactions framework.
Latest News
12 February 2020
With a More Competitive Private Sector, Everybody Wins

Competition in the marketplace is healthy for a country’s economy—everybody benefits.

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12 September 2019
Vanuatu Competition and Consumer Protection Policy passes

Vanuatu now has a Competition and Consumer Protection Policy. The Council of Ministers recently passed the PSDI-drafted policy, which articulates the government’s goals for developing competitive markets and empowering consumers.

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11 November 2016
Drafting a New Competition Policy in Vanuatu

Since 2015, PSDI has been assisting the Government of Vanuatu to develop a new competition and consumer policy. In August and September, consultations were held to discuss the PSDI-drafted Public Issues Paper on Competition Policy and Law for Vanuatu. In October, the draft National Competition Policy was presented by PSDI at a public workshop hosted by the Ministry of Tourism, Trade, Commerce and Ni-Vanuatu Business. The draft policy aims to chart a...

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14 October 2016
PSDI Presents Draft Competition Policy in Vanuatu

Acting Director General of the Ministry of Tourism, Trade, Commerce and Ni-Vanuatu Business George Borugu (standing, right) opens the public workshop in Port Vila on 12 October. A consultation draft of Vanuatu’s National Competition Policy prepared by PSDI was presented at a public workshop hosted by the Ministry of Tourism, Trade, Commerce and Ni-Vanuatu Business on 12 October. George Borugu, Acting Director General of the Ministry of Tourism, Trade, Commerce and Ni-Vanuatu Business, opened...

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30 May 2016
Spreading the Word on an Easier Way to do Business in Vanuatu

Participants at the business registry information session in Lakatoro, Malampa province, on 22 June with PSDI Business Law Reform Expert Aaron Levine (centre).   The benefits of Vanuatu’s new online business registry and modernized, simplified business laws have been highlighted in a country-wide awareness-raising campaign by PSDI in partnership with the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission. From August 2015 to June 2016, presentations on how to use the system were delivered to provincial leaders and...

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14 October 2014
PSDI and Vanuatu to Support Private Sector with Online Registries

Ms. Serah Obed, Acting Commissioner, Vanuatu Financial Services  Commission (left) and Ms. Nancy Wells, ADB's Development  Coordinator in Vanuatu, share a handshake in Port Vila yesterday  at the signing of an MOU committing their organisations to work  together to build what will be the Pacific's "most comprehensive  suite of electronic business registries".  After working together to achieve business law reform, PSDI and Vanuatu’s financial services regulator have agreed to build online business registries that will lower costs, boost transparency,...

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Key Publications
PSDI Annual Progress Report 2018–2019
PSDI Annual Progress Report 2018–2019
This report gives an overview of PSDI activities from July 2018 to June 2019.
Finding Balance 2019: Benchmarking the Performance of State-owned Banks in the Pacific
Finding Balance 2019: Benchmarking the Performance of State-...
This report profiles the roles, performance, market context, and regulatory frameworks of 13 state-owned banks in 10 Pacific countries.
Finding Balance 2019: Benchmarking the Performance of State-owned Banks in the Pacific
Finding Balance 2019: Benchmarking the Performance of State-...
This report profiles the roles, performance, market context, and regulatory frameworks of 13 state-owned banks in 10 Pacific countries.
PSDI Annual Progress Report 2017–2018
PSDI Annual Progress Report 2017–2018
This report gives an overview of PSDI activities from June 2017 to June 2018.
Women and Business in the Pacific
Women and Business in the Pacific
This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the context in which Pacific women engage in the private sector, and strategies to increase their participation in business.
Tourism as a Driver of Growth in the Pacific
Tourism as a Driver of Growth in the Pacific
Tourism in the Pacific is increasing and will be a key driver of economic growth in the coming decade. Yet despite more visitors to the Pacific, tourism growth is not inevitable for all countries in the region.