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Vanuatu: Country and Foreign Investment

Foreign Investment Regime

There are no formal investment incentive schemes; however, there is legislation (The Import Duties Act and The Export Duties Act) which allows the Government to waive import and export duties for activities which bring benefit to the country's economy, and in practice substantial benefits can often be negotiated. Of course, since there is no direct corporate taxation, conventional types of incentive don't apply.

In accordance with the Immigration Act, all investors are subject to the VT5 million minimum investment requirement, which can be held in either cash or assets. However, in assets form, the Immigration Department will only accept certification from a recognised law firm, accounting firm or from a local domestic bank. Once certified, the investor is free to use the funds towards the approved investment.

The government has created the Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority (VIPA) as the first point of call for all foreign investors planning to invest in Vanuatu. VIPA's primary role is the promotion of Direct Foreign Investment into the Republic of Vanuatu and to provide a service to all foreign investors from initial inquiry to a project's operational stage and even beyond.

It provides general information packages and advice on investment opportunities, incentives and investment procedures in Vanuatu. VIPA is also empowered to facilitate business expansions and variations and to facilitate investors' requests for work permits, residence permits, business licences and other government approvals. No foreign investor is allowed to do any business in Vanuatu until an approval is given by the Vanuatu Government through the VIPA Board.



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