Vanuatu Economics and Business

According to cheeroutdoor, Vanuatu has a diversified and open economy that is heavily reliant on the service sector, accounting for around 65% of GDP. The country is also a major producer of agricultural products such as coffee, cocoa, copra, and kava. Over the past decade, Vanuatu has experienced moderate economic growth driven by increased investments in infrastructure and access to foreign markets. Despite this progress, the country still faces significant challenges in terms of income inequality and poverty reduction. To address these issues, the government is focusing on developing small businesses and creating jobs for young people. Additionally, Vanuatu has implemented several reforms to attract foreign investment and create a more favorable business environment.

Over 2/3 of Vanuatu’s population is engaged in agriculture and fishing which is largely driven for private and local consumption. Agricultural products (especially coconut products) and fish are also exported. Tourism is growing strongly, and the tourism industry is the most important source of income. In 2014, Vanuatu was visited by over 110,000 tourists and other visitors; In addition, more than 30,000 cruise ships arrived. Over half of the tourists traditionally come from Australia and New Zealand. Tourism has long been limited to the islands of Éfaté, Espíritu Santo and Tanne, but since the turn of the millennium the tourism industry has been established on several other islands and new airports built at Pentecost and Malekula. In addition to tourism, Vanuatu has income from extensive financial activities; a number of international major banks have been established in Port Vila.

Vanuatu GDP (Nominal, $USD) 2003-2017

According to COUNTRYAAH, Vanuatu’s international ship register comprised 381 vessels totaling approx. 1.8 million brt. (2004).

The braided islands are mountainous and wooded, and agriculture is therefore mainly conducted on the narrow coastal plain. Fruits and vegetables are grown for local consumption, while coffee, coconuts (copra, coconut oil), meat and fish are the main selling products. There is a fairly extensive cattle herd, especially on Espíritu Santo, Éfaté and Malakula. In addition, chickens and pigs are kept. Forestry has been established, but its operation has in recent years slowed down due to ecological considerations.

Fishing is an important trade route; About 50 fishing boats operate (mainly for tuna) within the country’s fishing zone, and the fish are frozen or canned for export on Espíritu Santo.

The industry is underdeveloped and is to a large extent based on the production of food and beverages. Textiles, wood products, metal products, leather goods and handicraft products are also manufactured. Abbreviated as VUT by, Vanuatu has some mineral resources. Manganese was previously extracted, and although operations were halted in 1980, an agreement on the sale of manganese was signed in 2006. Copper and gold mining is planned.

Foreign Trade

Main export product is copra; In addition, fish and fish products, meat and meat products, cocoa and timber products are exported. Energy raw materials (petroleum), food and industrial finished goods are imported. Australia, Japan, China and New Zealand are major trading partners.

Transport and Communications

The road network is best developed on the islands of Éfaté and Espíritu Santo, which also have the best ports and most important airports. Smaller airports on several of the islands. Ferries and small boats also operate between the islands. Air Vanuatu has international routes to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Solomon Islands and Nouvelle Calédonie (New Caledonia). Since 2004, low-cost Pacific Blue has had flights from New Zealand and Australia to Port Vila.

Note: the capital city of Vanuatu is Port Vila with a population of 51,400 (at Efate, census 2016). Other major cities include Luganville with a population of 16 300 (at Espiritu Santo, census 2016).

Vanuatu Economics and Business

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