Longest wharf in south Pacific opens in Luganville—6 months ahead of schedule

A file image of a cruise ship docked at the new Luganville wharf. Photo: Carnival Cruises

A file image of a cruise ship docked at the new Luganville wharf. Photo: Carnival Cruises

The new 360 metre Luganville Wharf was officially handed over by the Chinese Ambassador on Saturday. Government and provincial leaders were on hand to receive the important addition to Vanuatu’s infrastructure. The wharf was financed by a Chinese EXIM Bank loan of Vt 9 billion. Passenger facilities for tourist arrivals form part of the project and the wharf can receive two Read the rest of this entry »


Opinion: a call for a tolerant, understanding and caring Vanuatu

A call for a tolerant, understanding and caring Vanuatu

By Michael Taurakoto

MP Andrew Napuat’s recent statement on the supremacy of Christian principles in Vanuatu society raises important issues that leaders throughout Vanuatu should deliberate and consider carefully.

It is true that the founding fathers and mothers of this country were primarily Christian. This is a testament to the important role Christian churches played in educating and training the leaders that would take the then colony of New Hebrides to independence in 1980.

It is understandable then that our national motto and the preamble to our Constitution make specific reference to God as the inspiration behind the struggle for political independence and freedom.

What is also true is that these same founding fathers and mothers crafted and enacted a Constitution which guarantees fundamental individual rights and freedom from discrimination on the basis of, among other things, religious beliefs.

Today, Vanuatu is a diverse country. While Christianity is still the dominant religion, making up 82.4% of the population (2009 Census), we have to acknowledge that the rest of the population, totalling over 40,000 citizens, do not necessarily share the same Christian beliefs as the majority of us. Read the rest of this entry »


CCECC says gravel is destined for African projects: Biosecurity Vanuatu wants it gone by weekend

aggregate Vanuatu

The China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC) has responded to a story run in Daily Post this week concerning the possibility of foot-and-mouth disease being brought into the country on the aggregate material CCECC planned to use for the Bauerfield runway extensions. The company claims there are no sinister motives behind their decision to Read the rest of this entry »


New Bureau of Standards to assist with quality control of imports and exports

Vanuatu Deputy PM Joe Natuman and officials at the opening of the new Bureau of Standards, Wednesday 17 August 2017. Photo: Pacific Community

Vanuatu Deputy PM Joe Natuman and officials at the opening of the new Bureau of Standards, Wednesday 17 August 2017. Photo: Pacific Community

Trade Minister and Deputy PM Joe Natuman opened the Vanuatu Bureau of Standards yesterday. Minister Natuman explained to those at the opening that it is important that Vanuatu has quality standards for products it exports and imports. Vanuatu’s agricultural products especially must be subject to stringent quality standards. The Bureau of Standards office will enable quick answers to exporters and foreign importers as to requirements.

The Department of Cooperatives has a new Read the rest of this entry »


Ni-Vanuatu businesswomen: apply now to take part in Women Trading Globally awards

All ni-Vanuatu women business owners are invited to participate in a short course ‘Australia Awards: Women Trading Globally’.

The course is offered to Pacific women with their own business who have the potential to become ‘export ready’, and is offered by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in partnership with the Export Council of Australia.

This program will enable you to grow your business and expand internationally. During the course participants will:

  • learn about doing business in and with Australia
  • connect with other women entrepreneurs from across the Pacific and Australia
  • enable you to grow your business and expand internationally.

This two-week residential Australia Awards short course is funded by the Australian Government. The inaugural course is scheduled for 12‒24 November in Brisbane and Sydney. All costs (flights, accommodation, incidentals, study fees) are funded by the Australian Government.

For more information, program dates and eligibility requirements, please visit this website, and also download these two forms:

Please complete the attached application form and return it to  Read the rest of this entry »


Shipload of potentially contaminated Chinese gravel banned from entering Vanuatu

File image of asphalt being laid over aggregate. Photo: US Govt

File image of asphalt being laid over aggregate to build a runway. Photo: US Govt

A ship carrying aggregate gravel for the runway extensions at Bauerfield has been blocked from unloading because of the biologically unsafe status of gravel from its country of origin, China. The company responsible for the shipment, the giant China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC), was advised of the countries from which such material could be easily obtained when their successful bid was announced—Fiji, New Caledonia, Australia and New Zealand. China is blacklisted for the supply of gravel because it has foot and mouth disease. If foot and mouth disease arrived here, it would quickly destroy Vanuatu’s valuable beef export industry. The pork industry would also be affected. The Director of Biosecurity, Timothy Tumukon, has advised the aggregate material cannot be unloaded here. The Council of Ministers agrees. The ship is moored in Mele Bay. It will unload equipment needed on the runway project starting Thursday. However, the aggregate must remain on board. (Daily Post)

Australia’s newly appointed Ambassador for the Environment, Patrick Suckling, is presently in Port Vila on a familiarisation visit. He is responsible for Australia’s diplomacy around Read the rest of this entry »


Vanuatu will not permit other nations to conduct extralegal police operations on its soil, says Govt

77 alleged members of a Chinese crime syndicate were rounded up by Chinese police and flown from Nadi to China last week. Photo: CCTV

77 alleged members of a Chinese crime syndicate were rounded up by Chinese police and flown from Fiji to China last week. Photo: CCTV

Some 77 alleged members of a Chinese online fraud syndicate were detained and flown out of Fiji this week on a plane full of Chinese police. Fiji has no extradition treaty with China, meaning Fiji allowed the police force of another nation to operate on its soil outside of the checks and balances provided for by Fijian law. This is of concern for Fiji’s neighbours, including Vanuatu, because it indicates that China is willing to bypass the sovereign legal systems of our nations and conduct security operations on our soil whenever it suits them.

The Acting DG of Foreign Affairs has told the media it could not happen Read the rest of this entry »