Economic Development Zone in Vanuatu

What is Economic Development Zone?

 In 2016, the Government of Vanuatu approved the creation of Vanuatu Economic Development Zones (EDZ), including an Industrial Park.  This project was initiated by a private company who invested in this project together with the Vanuatu Gov’t in the framework of a Private Public Partnership (PPP) and will soon be launched at Luganville, Santo. The EDZ will be designed for offering world-class environment for attracting foreign investors, among others:

  • Appropriate infrastructure, including communication and internet access
  • Economic incentive, in addition to those already in force at Vanuatu
  • Qualified labour force
  • Access to regional and international markets

 What makes Vanuatu attractive for foreign investors to this EDZ? 

  • Initiative driven by a Private Public Partnership (PPP)
  • Macroeconomic climate marked by political stability
  • Free tax regime facilities
  • Large infrastructure projects (internet cable, cargo terminal wharf, urban roads improvement, air-ports upgrading)
  • New generation of young educated young people
  • Availability of Land (50Ha) able to host pro-cessing and service companies

 What is the Department of Industry’s role in this project? 

The Division of Industry under the Ministry of Tourism, Trade, Commerce, & Ni-Vanuatu Business is leading the process of the establishment of Vanuatu EDZ with the following mandate:

  • Coordinate, promote and facilitate EDZ investments focusing the regional and international markets
  • Ensure that the site design and planning, the infrastructure, including the utilities are in place
  • Provide incentive packages in coherence with national and international trade obligations
  • Set-up one stop services for the investors (Vanuatu Electronic Single Window - VeSW).
  • Facilitate the licence to the investors through the Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority (VIPA).
  • Ensure a comprehensive legal framework for investors.
  • Ensure that EDZ labour laws is in line with the ILO standards.
  • Facilitate business development opportunities for SMEs meeting the logistical or outsourcing needs of EDZ investors.
  • Build a database/network of qualified human resources, which could be mobilised by investors. 

What are the expected benefits for the country and its people? 

  • Increase foreign investment
    • Because it is an export-based concept, it will attract many investors from many business sectors
  • Trade
    • E-commerce trade generated
    • Trade balance (Import/Export)
  • Employment
  • Employment is the main driving factor so there are substantial benefits to Ni-Vanuatu workers.
  • Advantage of EDZ that the workers do not have to travel overseas (RSE) and leave their family unit.
  • Revenues
  • Government will collect more VAT
  • And foreign exchange reserves 

The impact of Economic Development Zone will have a multiple effect on our economy in general in all our productive sectors.

 It is expected that EDZ in Vanuatu be operational in 2020.

UNIDO Bamboo Training Program

In collaboration with CBRC and the Department of Industry, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization jointly conducted a bamboo training with Tropical Wood Furniture in Santo.

Twelve local youths undergo four weeks of extensive training on bamboo harvesting, treatment, and furniture designing and construction. This project is one of the activities under the UNIDO-Vanuatu Country Program of Technical Cooperation 2016 – 2020. The Country Program is designed to enhance UNIDO’s support to the Government of Vanuatu to implement a road-map towards Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development (ISID) as stated in the Lima Declaration.

At the completion of the training program, participants were awarded with Certificates and bamboo hand tool kits.

Poultry Industry Rehabilitation Program

Background: Rehabilitation of the poultry industry was prioritized by the MTTICNVB as well as by the Recovery and Rehabilitation Plan of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity (MALLFB) during the post disaster needs assessments.

The program is expected to create and sustain greater livelihood improvement opportunities. Given the successful tourism recovery efforts, this program is likely to create linkages by facilitating market access to the cruise tourism industry.


  1. Develop an independent and sustainable poultry industry through public-private partnerships investments
  2. Re-establish the national capacity to supply chicken products and egg to the local markets and the increasing cruise tourism exports
  3. Recover a minimum of 15 broiler contract growers farms damaged by cyclone Pam

The project is being implemented through a Poultry Industry Steering Committee (PISC) including government agencies from the Ministry of Tourism, Trades, Industry, Commerce & Ni-Vanuatu Business (MTTICNVB), Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Forestry, Fisheries, & Biosecurity (MALFFB), Department of Customs, Department of Strategic Policy Planning & Aid Coordination (DSPPAC), Department of External Trade, and private sector rep from the poultry sector Chiko Farms Ltd.

Handicraft Business Development Program


Handicraft Business Development Program (HBDP) is a newly developed program aiming to improve Vanuatu’s handicraft sector by developing Vanuatu’s economy and maximizing opportunities to grow the trade of local products thus creating employment for locals and injecting the substantial money into the local economy. According to a handicraft data produced in 2016, the value of the tourist souvenir and handicraft market is 1.3 billion vatu. However 90% of the products traded are imported thus a very large percentage of this revenue is currently supporting overseas production and businesses. This program is funded by the NZAid under the VSTAP and Australian Aid Vanuatu Skills Partnership (formerly known TVET) in collaboration with the Department of Industry.

The Vanuatu Government has committed to support locally made products by dedicating the newly re-constructed market houses in Port Vila for the sale of made in Vanuatu goods only. The two market houses were officially handed over to the Vanuatu Gov’t on the 1st of September 2017 and are jointly managed by the HBD Program under the Department of Industry in partnership with Port Vila Municipal Council.


The work that will be implemented in the Handicraft Sector is dedicated to promoting and facilitating the development and growth of the Handicraft industry. There are three main objectives for the development of the handicraft sector:

  1. To encourage the sector to sell more Made in Vanuatu items as souvenirs and gifts in the tourism market.
  2. To consolidate and strengthen the handicraft product supply chain to support the growth of the industry.
  3. To encourage commercialization of Made in Vanuatu products and the formalization of this for industry.

Importantly, these objectives directly support the Vanuatu National Sustainable Development plan 2030. In particular, in the areas of Vanuatu’s Societal Goals, supporting the preservation of culture and in the economic pillars, increasing economic opportunities for Ni Vanuatu.

This plan aims to build on the current work being performed within the department with the intention to promote Vanuatu made Handicrafts within the sector in order to make Vanuatu products more competitive, especially in the tourism souvenir market. As our important tourism sector grows so too are there more opportunities for employment and sustainable earnings for our people with increased sales of handicrafts.

We believe strongly in partnership with relevant agencies in government and the private sector. In particular, the handicraft industry development work is performed with close cooperation from the Department of Tourism through the VSTAP team and with the Vanuatu Skills Partnership (formerly known as TVET).

Working together with our partner organizations will increase our capacity, expand our knowledge, improve access to abundant resources, and extend our horizon beyond visible limits. As Director, I look forward to fully implementing the activities set out in this plan for enhancing the growth of the sector over the next five years.

Business Blong Buluk

Increasing the productivity and market options of smallholder beef cattle farmers in Vanuatu

This project aims to increase the productivity and marketing options of smallholder cattle farmers in Vanuatu through social, business and production participatory research, demonstration and training activities. 75% of households in Vanuatu rely on traditional subsistence agriculture for their livelihoods, and 50% of rural households have cattle.

Beef cattle turnoff into formal markets has declined in recent years, and butchers and abattoirs cannot meet increasing demand for beef.

The Government of the Republic of Vanuatu has identified increased smallholder cattle productivity, linkages with the commercial cattle sector and income from cattle sales as priority strategies to increase national beef production, meet expanding market opportunities, and improve the livelihoods of Ni-Vanuatu smallholder households.

Implementing these strategies will require understanding the livelihoods objectives of smallholder cattle producing households and cattle production systems. The project will increase cattle productivity and improve market access within the smallholder cattle sector in Vanuatu.

This 5-year project kicked off in 2015 initially based in Santo to understand how famers operate then should be similar in any island around Vanuatu.

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