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.

For detailed information on PSDI activities in Vanuatu, download the 2022 PSDI Country Overview here.

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
19 September 2023
Women can flourish in business leadership—PSDI Leadership Matters Vanuatu

PSDI, in partnership with the Vanuatu Department of Women’s Affairs (DWA) through the Ministry of Justice and Community Services, on 31 August 2022 hosted almost 40 government, business, and civil society figures at a roundtable event in Port Vila to discuss Leadership Matters. Watch the video.

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31 August 2022
'Conscious and sustained' effort required to boost women in business leadership—PSDI Leadership Matters Vanuatu roundtable

Almost 40 government, business, and civil society representatives in Vanuatu have gathered to discuss the findings of PSDI's Leadership Matters study on women in Pacific business leadership.

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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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Key Publications
Unlocking Potential: A Gender Inclusive Private Sector Framework for the Pacific Report and Country Assessments
Unlocking Potential: A Gender Inclusive Private Sector Frame...
The Gender Inclusive Private Sector Framework serves as a practical checklist for Pacific governments and institutions to measure progress and identify areas where further improvements are needed.
Vanuatu: Women in Tourism Related Businesses Report
Vanuatu: Women in Tourism Related Businesses Report
This consultant's report details the results of a survey of 86 women owned businesses in the tourism industry in Vanuatu, as well as focus group discussions and case study research.
Vanuatu: Women in Business Report
Vanuatu: Women in Business Report
This consultants report details the results of a survey of 166 women owning businesses in Vanuatu, as well as focus group discussions (FGDs) and case study research.
Innovative Financing Mechanisms in the Pacific
Innovative Financing Mechanisms in the Pacific
This paper examines the potential benefits and issues to consider around implementing Innovative Financing Mechanisms in the Pacific, which can lower barriers and provide more options for businesses seeking finance.
Investment For Growth: A review of foreign direct investment frameworks in the Pacific
Investment For Growth: A review of foreign direct investment...
This study reviews the FDI frameworks in Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu, to support countries to attract, retain, and assess FDI efficiently and effectively.
Invisible Hands: Enabling Pacific Women in the Informal Economy
Invisible Hands: Enabling Pacific Women in the Informal Econ...
This publication is the first in a series of PSDI reports focused on the role of women in the Pacific region’s informal economy.