Larger aircraft to be able to land at Bauerfield, thanks to additional funds from World Bank for Vanuatu Aviation Investment Project

The World Bank's Vanuatu Aviation Investment Project will enable long-haul Code E aircraft such as Boeing's 787 (above) to use Bauerfield International Airport

The World Bank’s Vanuatu Aviation Investment Project will enable larger, long-haul Code E aircraft such as Boeing’s 787 (above) to use Bauerfield International Airport. Photo: Boeing

The World Bank announced USD 14 million (Approx. Vt 1.5 billion) in additional funding to strengthen air transport and an expansion of works under the Vanuatu Aviation Investment Project yesterday. Vanuatu’s Finance Minister Gaeton Pikioune says  Read the rest of this entry »


Non-compliant offshore financial centre puts other Vanuatu businesses at risk – but costs of compliance are high

Money laundering Vanuatu

Between Vt1.8B—Vt4.5B in proceeds of foreign crimes are laundered through Vanuatu’s offshore financial system every year, it is estimated. The non-implementation of checks against money laundering by Vanuatu’s offshore financial centre may prevent other Vanuatu small businesses from accessing foreign currency transactions – but Vanuatu lacks the resources to put the checks in place.

Vanuatu, accused of inaction over money laundering, is facing international sanctions as its politicians debate whether to spend government funds to fix the country’s financial services or to deal with disaster reconstruction.

Vanuatu, home to 270,000 people, has a 25-year-old offshore financial centre offering banking and company-creation services that provide well-paid employment in its capital, Port Vila. For the disaster-prone nation, the financial sector is a crucial part of its economy, contributing between two and three percentage points to gross domestic product.

In September the Financial Action Task Force, an inter-governmental group that combats money laundering and terrorist financing, warned of “strategic deficiencies in Vanuatu’s anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism system.”

The group called for an action plan including Read the rest of this entry »


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 Read the rest of this entry »