Vanuatu and France to hold border talks

Bathymetric map showing the boundary of the New Hebrides tectonic plate and the Australian plate. Matthew and Hunter sit on the New Hebrides plate, while New Caledonia sits on the Australian plate.

Bathymetric map showing the boundary of the New Hebrides tectonic plate and the Australian plate. Matthew and Hunter sit on the New Hebrides plate, while New Caledonia sits on the Australian plate.

Hunter Island

Hunter Island

The big outstanding issue with France — Matthew and Hunter Islands — is soon to be the subject of discussion in border talks which will take place at the Forum Fisheries Agency in Honiara. PM Charlot Salwai revealed this after the PM had held discussions with the French Minister of Overseas Territories, Annick Girardin, in Apia at the Pacific Islands Forum Leader’s meeting earlier this month. The border talks will be held in October. Vanuatu requires that the Ocean Policy covering climate and other issues be consulted as regional issues. Despite this, France and Fiji have already signed a border treaty without Vanuatu. Such a treaty will also be necessary between Fiji and Vanuatu.

Matthew Island

Matthew Island

PM Salwai pointed out that France was aware of Vanuatu’s Independence from 1980, and he said that Vanuatu should have been consulted when Fiji and France signed their border agreement. “This is why Vanuatu continues to dispute France’s claims and the treaty with Fiji. There are geographical reasons, cultural and traditional reasons it has in line with Melanesian spirit, Melanesian culture. We have the word of the Kanaks and senators of New Caledonia who expressed support for our positions last year”, said the Prime Minister. He mentioned two times this year when his government had taken up the issue with Paris — in January — and at MSG meetings. PM Salwai hoped the issue could be broached in this year’s United Nations General Assembly beginning in a few days.

The Supreme Court has dismissed a claim by Read the rest of this entry »

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Bumper harvest on Tanna signals the revival of Vanuatu-grown potato crop

This year's bumper potato harvest on Tanna is on its way to market in Port Vila. Photo: Hon Matai Seremiah/Facebook

This year’s bumper potato harvest on Tanna is on its way to market in Port Vila. Photo: Hon Matai Seremiah/Facebook

In a commercial move which echoes a practice of 3 decades ago, some 20 tons of Tanna potatoes are being shipped to Read the rest of this entry »


Vanuatu signs PACER Plus Agreement

Prime Minister Salwai signs the PACER Plus agreement this morning at the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders' Meeting in Apia, Samoa. Photo: Pacific Islands Forum

Prime Minister Salwai signs the PACER Plus agreement this morning at the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ Meeting in Apia, Samoa. Photo: Pacific Islands Forum

Prime Minister Hon Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas today signed the PACER Plus agreement in Apia, Samoa.

PM Salwai said that by signing the PACER Plus, Vanuatu is Read the rest of this entry »


Vanuatu Govt backs down on PACER Plus, agrees to sign—with conditions

An aerial view of the newly launched VIla seafront beautifications. Photo: @EIF4LDCs/Twitter

An aerial view of the newly launched VIla seafront beautifications. Photo: @EIF4LDCs/Twitter

Vanuatu will be signing the PACER Plus Agreement with Australia and New Zealand at the Pacific Islands Forum meeting in Apia this week. The Council of Ministers changed their minds on 30 August. The reversal comes with conditions: one is 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 »


Vanuatu set to graduate from Least Developed Country status in 2020

Vanuatu Deputy PM Joe Natuman with WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo this week at the 2017 Aid for Trade Global Review in Geneva. Photo: WTO

Vanuatu Deputy PM Joe Natuman with WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo this week at the 2017 Aid for Trade Global Review in Geneva. Photo: WTO

Mark your diary: Vanuatu will cease to be a Least Developed Country (LDC) in 2020. DPM Joe Natuman is attending the World Trade Organisation (WTO)’s 2017 Aid for Trade Biennial Review in Geneva, Switzerland. He has attended some 50 sessions while there. “Inclusiveness, and Connectivity for Sustainable Development” is the theme of the event. The Aid for Trade Initiative of the World Trade Organization was launched in 2005. LDC is a UN category that currently affords Vanuatu special treatment from certain trading partners in terms of preferential quotas, duty exemptions and prices, some of which will cease when Vanuatu graduates to the next category, Developing Country.

At 4pm sharp Thursday (26 July) the sirens attached to each of the tsunami warning towers in Port Vila will blast Read the rest of this entry »