IMF, World Bank offer assistance for anti-money laundering reforms to offshore financial centre

Laundering Dollar Bills. Photo: TaxRebate.org.uk

IMF and World Bank ready to aid in reforms to have Vanuatu removed from the ‘grey’ list of countries needing to update anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism reporting for which deadlines have been set for June next year. Finance Minister Pikioune was accompanied by a delegation for the annual talks in the United States. The World Bank’s upgrade of Bauerfield to runway code E standards was noted. Tenders are to to be announced soon. Certain allocations to Vanuatu have been increased. (Daily Post)

Television Blong Vanuatu (TBV) switched off its analogue signal on Saturday night, its colleague broadcaster Radio Vanuatu informs us today. It claims to have done to comply with international requirements. Its Hong Kong manufacturing company partner in the exercise of moving to digital TV transmission is providing a mission statement on Radio Vanuatu service messages. TBV Manager Stevenson Liu is assuring the public of improved reception after 24 years of broadcasting provided by TBV. Improved reception, that is, for those who can afford to pay the Vt 2,000 monthly connection fee, Vt 5,000 caution fee and for new antenna and reception equipment required.

Tourism Minister Joe Natuman’s offer to host the South Pacific Tourism Organization 2017 conference was unchallenged by the SPTO at its 2016 meeting in Rarotonga. As further incentive to the membership and to travel businesses in Vanuatu he was also able to announce government plans to make 2017 the Year of Tourism. This will give an excellent opportunity to showcase Vanuatu’s recovery from Cyclone Pam, said Minister Natuman. (Daily Post)

The exclusion zone surrounding Yasur volcano has been increased following increased volcanic activity. Yasur’s alert level has increased from 2 to 3 on the Vanuatu Geohazards Observatory’s scale. One of the main tourist attractions in Vanuatu, the volcano periodically suffers these bouts of more furious activity putting the observation zone further from the public than they might like. The zones are clearly marked in a map produced in the newspaper, however the Geohazards Observatory’s website appears to have disappeared from the internet. (Daily Post)

The fire in the Air Vanuatu Building over the weekend announced on commercial radio, but very quickly put out, seems unlikely to have any lasting effect as regards tourism.