Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority (VIPA)
VIPA is the agency of the Government of Vanuatu responsible for assisting those that wish to invest in Vanuatu.
VIPA has a clear mission to expeditiously facilitate, promote and foster foreign investment in Vanuatu and to generate greater economic prosperity for the people of Vanuatu. This professional organization is committed to being open and accountable to you the client, as a proactive department they actively pursue ways to keep their clients informed about their activities that may affect your decision to invest.
In 1998, VIPA became operational by an act of parliament; being renowned for providing a good a fare service, as with all government agencies around the world today resources are limited but in good Ni Van fashion there is always a smile. Despite current trends VIPA’s financial capacity has recently been improved which has allowed it to increase its team numbers. This has seen improved performance and achievements.
This has been reflected in the revenue generated through FDI which accounts for over 70% of Governments total collection and employment opportunities for Ni-Vanuatu.
The current CEO of VIPA is Mr. Smith TEBU
A pesonal message from the Deputy Prime Minister
As the happiest place on the planet we can afford to have the biggest smiles
Vanuatu offers excellent investment opportunities for the international business community regardless of capital size, this open door policy can rarely be found in other Pacific Islands countries with favourable lifestyle conditions. Because of the sympathetic taxation arrangements envied by many larger countries of the region Vanuatu will continue to be a hub for small and medium sized businesses providing services worldwide.
Government support – Supporting its commitment to improve economic growth through ‘private sector led development’, has been and will remain Vanuatu’s Government priority, further encourageing and offering special support.
Incentives – a range of incentives are available including a thriving offshore financial center in Port Vila, private as well as international banking facilities. for the right project funds trough the government or its international partners.
Infrastructure – With the completion of tar-sealed roads around two of the major islands (Efate and Santo), the establishment of Digicel as well as TVL. A large injection of capital in recent years into the tourism sector and more frequent international flights to a soon to be upgraded airport, Vanuatu has become the place to be.
About Vanuatu – Being ranked twice as the Happiest Place on the Planet, its clear to many and one of the reasons that so many choose Vanuatu as their business hub or retirement base.
VIPA support – Our motivated and dedicated staff are on hand to help you succeed with your business or lifestyle plans, regardless of financial commitment.
Quite rightly, while Vanuatu encourages foreign investors intending to do business, agencies such as VIPA have a responsibility to ensure investors are a where and operate within the country’s laws and regulations governing commercial activities and practices. As expected any investor found operating a business in Vanuatu without complying with the regulatory requirements is considered an ‘offence’ and will face penalty charges as stated in the VIPA act N). 15 of 1989.
Currently there are opportunities for investment in the following key areas however recent investments have been made in areas such as media, scientific research and engineering.
Business startup in Vanuatu comprises of 7 simple steps:
Step 1 Foreign investment approval
Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority (VIPA)
Step 2 Residence permits
Step 3 Work permits
Department of Labour
Step 4 Company incorporation
Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC)
Step 5 Business license
Department of Customs and Inland Revenue and/or Provincial Councils
Step 6 VAT registration
Department of Customs and Inland Revenue
Step 7 Employer registration
Vanuatu National Provident Fund (VNPF)
Steps 1 through 4 must be completed one at a time in the order indicated. Steps 5, 6 and 7, however, can be done concurrently. In addition, under the Workman’s Compensation Act (Cap 202), all employers are required to obtain insurance to cover the cost of compensating workers injured during the course of their employment. The insurance can be obtained from a private insurance provider.
After successful completion of the start-up process, all businesses must then comply with various operational requirements.
As a cautionary reminder, the Department of Immigration Act requires original documents for residency permit to be presented. Photo copies of such documents will not be accepted.
VIPA staff can help you identify the operational requirements relevant to your business.
There are a number of professional agencies that, for a small fee can handle all these matters often in a speedy manner.
All Natural Produce in Vanuatu
There are range of opportunities in the country’s wide array of non-mineral resources. Its productive sectors have significant untapped potential
Agriculture – Vanuatu boasts some of the world-class products such as organic beef, coffee and other high-value products that could benefit significantly from foreign investment in terms of increase production and value-adding.
Copra, cocoa, kava and beef remain Vanuatu’s principal export commodities with excellent opportunities in value-added processing for exports.
The country’s abundance of fresh foods and nuts, offers profitable opportunities for new exports for these products that could be developed by the private sector
Given that only one third of the total cultivable land is presently farmed, the sub-tropical climate the country enjoys all year-round and its fertile soil provides conducive environment to high yield production of traditional and commercial crops and cattle raising .
Recent development has seen Government’s emphasis on exploiting plantation agriculture and smallholder commercialization
The sector’s (including Forestry & Fisheries) contribution to the country’s economic growth remains crucial with 19 percent share of total GDP (in real terms) (National Statistics Office 2009 preliminary GDP estimates)
Fisheries – Given significant contribution this sector has made to the national economy, opportunities exist to further exploit the country’s marine resources.
Fisheries resources are under-exploited. Opportunities exist to make use of existing facilities to fully exploit the country’s marine resources
The need to supply a larger proportion of the protein needs of a rapidly growing population from local stocks means engaging in other activities such as farming of shrimps, giant clams and fish
Contributed 4.0 percent to Agriculture, Fishing and Forestry overall contribution to total GDP (National Statistics Office 2009 preliminary GDP (in real terms) estimates)
Despite its 6680,000 square kilometer Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), Vanuatu’s marine fisheries and other marine resources remain largely unexploited. Recent developments in terms of infrastructure have seen improvements in this sector. For example, in 2009, a locally-owned Tuna Fishing Vanuatu Company made its inaugural export of two tonnes of filleted tuna to Japan. Further, a China has backed fish cannery to be built with the intention of processing big eye and yellow fin tuna for export.
Aqua-culture has been identified as an area of huge potential currently the Teouma Prawn Farm is the operator in the country. Originally aimed at the export market the farm has failed in this respect due to excessive local demand, in particular the hotels, resorts and restaurants.
Given the demand for nutritional intake of fish products for the health of the population of the country and its contribution to economic growth, viable investment opportunities exist in this sector.
Project profiles for this sector is currently in progress and will be made available once they are completed.
Forestry – The recent Government’s forest, encourages the promotion and investment in new-forest plantations and value adding of forest products for local and international markets.
Forestry contributed 6.2% (At Constant Price) to the overall growth in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry sector in 2009 (VNSO, 2009 GDP estimates )
New forest policy emphasis on exploiting the country’s forest plantation as they have been not fully utilized during the last several years
Trends in the value of exports of timber products showed a continuous decline from 273 million vatu(2007) to 26 million vatu (2010)
Developing a sustainable forestry sector will depend on attracting investors for developing larger commercial timber plantations
Profitable opportunity exists for development lies on organizing and empowering mobile sawmill operators to expand into value adding wood processing
In its National Forest Policy (2010-2020), the Department of Forestry emphasizes the need for investment in the forestry sector and encourages promotion of investment opportunities in this sector. In particular forest plantations to increase production of high-value tress such as sandalwood, mahogany and other forest species, forest carbon projects and processing of forest products for exports.
Work on developing Specific project profiles for this sector is in progress and will be made available once completed.
Tourism – has been and continues to be Vanuatu’s foreign exchange earner and maintaining steady growth. Given inadequate room inventories, there are excellent investment opportunities in this sector.
The dominant sector in the ‘Services Industry’ and remains the country’s most successful sector in terms of positive contribution to economic growth.
Contributed more than 40 percent to country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (National Statistics Office 2009 preliminary GDP estimates)
Contributed up to 6,000 jobs to the indigenous population plus a core of ex-pat professionals.
Number of visitor arrivals averaged (2007-2010) 92,000 annually with slight decrease of 3.5 percent in 2010.
Occupancy rates averaged 66-80% with average length of stay of 9-10 nights
Number of cruise ships docking at the Port Vila harbour is now nearly 200 per annum.
Recent launching of the country’s new tourism brand name Discover What Matters – Vanuatu has proven to be very successful with positive outcomes.
Vanuatu continues to be the destination of choice for those looking to retire, using the Islands as a base from which visit other worldwide destinations throughout the year for short or extended visits.
Manufacturing – The Government’s recent emphasis on value- adding approach offers this industry huge potential in manufacturing/processing for exports.
With the current recognition and emphasis on processing of value-added products, significant growth in this sector is expected in the medium term
Country’s continued increase in its trade deficit offers opportunity to help reduce importation of unnecessary goods and services
The development of a national industry policy aimed at creating an enabling environment for the private sector as the main engine for economic growth will certainly enhance productivity, capacity utilization and trade capacity in this sector
Contributed 14.0 percent to Industries overall growth in 2008(National Statistics Office preliminary GDP estimates)
With the country’s thriving cattle industry, there is surely an opportunity for a complementary diary sector. Currently fresh milk is not produced in the country or even in neighbouring New Caledonia. Coffee is another untapped sector an excellent investment opportunity. Tanna coffee is becoming very popular but very little of this product is exported because the sector is operating at only a fraction of its capacity. Other commodities with huge potential for export include Vanilla, Kava powder, organic skin care products, high-value sandalwood oil, high-grade cocoa and other high-value products.
VIPA will be working closely with the Department of Industry to identify and profile specific sector that will be made available on this website once complete.