Post cyclone Vanuatu pitches for investment, trade


Vanuatu is open for business. That’s the message coming from the Australia Pacific Islands Business Council, which will be hosting the fourth Vanuatu Business Forum on November 20 at the Brisbane Convention &amp; Exhibition Centre.<!--more-->
<a href=""><img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-6173" src="" alt="Vanuatu" width="138" height="104" /></a>The Forum is sponsored by ANZ and Westpac banks and Pacific Air Express.

Jeremy Grennell, Pacific Islands Trade &amp; Invest (PT&amp;I) Australia Acting Trade Commissioner says, “The forum is an opportunity to learn more about Vanuatu and what opportunities for Australian businesses are available in that country.” Mr. Grennell will be attending the forum on behalf of the PT&amp;I Network.

Vanuatu’s economy is driven largely by tourism and construction. The country is quickly recovering from the damage caused by Cyclone Pam in March this year. Business in Vanuatu, including tourism, is operating as usual although a small number of resorts are still undergoing repairs. Tourism and tourism-related services sectors (wholesale and retail trade, hotels and restaurants, and transport and communication) and agriculture provide opportunities for investment. There are potential opportunities in donor funded infrastructure development as well.

A privately developed fibre-optic cable is now operational and the associated industry zone will create new opportunities in the IT and related sectors. Vanuatu Prime Minister Sato Kilman will deliver the keynote address, followed by the Australian Government’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Steve Ciobo. Simeon Athy, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu will give a presentation on the Vanuatu Economy.

What many attendees will be looking forward to is the presentation on Post Cyclone Recovery. Michael Wolfe the Vanuatu Country Director of World Vision will discuss the First Responders during the cyclone. Three presentations will address the situation post cyclone for agriculture, tourism and current and future recovery work. Nicolas Montvoisin from the Management Team of the Vanuatu Cattle Company followed by Mr Tony Pittar, owner of Eratap Resort. Matt Harding, Director of Governance Growth, Vanuatu, will discuss the current and future recovery work.

In May this year, the Australian Government committed an extra $35 million in aid to help with the recovery effort in Vanuatu. This was in addition to the estimated initial $15 million committed earlier by the Australian Government. The funding would support livelihoods, economic recovery, the private sector and the repair and rebuild of critical infrastructure. It would also go toward restoring health and educational facilities as well as support gender and disability inclusion, said Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop in a statement in May.

Mr Charles Rickey, of ANZ Banking Group, Vanuatu will Chair the Panel discussing “Vanuatu is Open for Business” with panellists from the Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bryan Death, the Vanuatu Tourism Promotion Authority, General Manager Linda Kalpoi followed by case studies from Vanuatu’s major inbound operator, Phillip Malas, Director, Evergreen Limited and David Cox of Angelfish Cove Development speaking on new developments.

A panel discussion on Doing Business in Vanuatu will be led by Panel Chair, Ms Gayle Stapleton, of Stapleton Pacific Vanuatu along with representatives from the Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority, Pacific Private Bank, Westpac Bank Vanuatu and Gadens Lawyers Australia.

For more information please contact Pacific Islands Trade &amp; Invest Australia Trade Commissioner Jeremy Grennell on <a href=""></a>

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