Vanuatu Business, Taxation and Offshore Information
Vanuatu is a group of tropical islands on the eastern seaboard of Australia, off the coast of Queensland, with a mostly Melanesian population of 258,334 (2012). The 80 islands are mountainous, and some are volcanic. There are international airports on the two main islands; most connections are to Australia. The islands had British/French governance until independence in 1980; languages are English, French and Bislama (pidgin). The time zone is GMT plus 11 hours. There is a uni-cameral Parliament with a Westminster-model Prime Ministerial government and an elected President. The legal system is based on English common law with some civil law influence.
Vanuatu's economy, historically based on agriculture and fishing, is now dependent on tourism and financial services. Cruise liners call at the two deep-water ports. GDP of USD4,900 per head is low but has been growing strongly. There is a strong contrast between the relatively sophisticated capital Port Vila, with its expatriate workers, and the subsistence economy of most of the Ni-Vanuatu islanders. Most goods are imported, and import duties and value-added tax are the main sources of Government revenue. The currency is the Vatu (VT), fixed against a dollar-based currency basket. In recent years, USD1 has been worth approximately VT100. More »