Vanuatu, The Happiest Place on Earth
Vanuatu has been voted the happiest place on earth by the Global Happiness Index. Located in the Pacific Ocean, about 2000 kilometers east of Sydney, Vanuatu has a population of about 300,000. The country consists of eighty-three islands and occupies a total landmass of 14,700 square kilometers. Its territorial waters cover about 450,000 square kilometers.
Vanuatu is a tropical paradise thanks to the presence of many gorgeous beaches, magnificent landmarks, and beautiful forests. These exotic features attract tourists and investments from across the globe into Vanuatu and its diverse population.
The diversity of Vanuatu’s population comprises 95% indigenous “Ni-Vanuatu” of Melanesian origins, while Europeans and other Pacific islanders make up the remaining 5%. The national language of the country is its local dialect Bislama, though French and English are also considered official languages. Business hours in the capital of Vanuatu (Port Villa) run from Monday to Friday, between 7.30 a.m. and 11.30 a.m. and continues from 1.30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Law and Government of Vanuatu
Known as the New Hebrides before its independence on 30th July 1980, Vanuatu is today a parliamentary democracy directed by the Head of State. The election of the Head of State into a five-year tenure is performed by members of the Parliament and the presidents of the Regional Council, who make up the electoral college.
The country’s legislature is comprised by a 52-member parliament in a single chamber. The election into the legislature is held once every four years. The legal system, which is arbitrated by the Supreme Court of Vanuatu, is derived from English law.
The economic mainstay of Vanuatu is the tourism, agriculture, and the light industrial sector. Vatu (Vt) is the local currency and remains stable, as it is tied to various international currencies.
There is free movement of different currencies within the country, and there are no local restrictions for residents and non-resident to move funds. With no exchange controls, businesses and individuals can hold bank accounts in any of the major currencies freely traded in Vanuatu. The country’s economy has also been receiving a major boost from the Vanuatu Financial Center since its inauguration in 1969.
A Prime Financial Center of The Pacific
The Vanuatu Financial Center is not only the longest serving offshore financial sector within the Pacific, but it also enjoys a favorable time zone. These enhance the ease of doing business in the country for those within the Asian Pacific region. The Financial Center is built on the statutory framework of the International Companies Act, the Companies Act of the English law, and of course, the acts and regulations associated with insurance, banking, trust companies, and stamp duties.
The Financial Services Commissioner administers this statutory framework alongside the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu on behalf of the banking and insurance sector. However, the Supreme Court of Vanuatu adjudicates this.
Anybody can access the Vanuatu international ship registry, no matter their nationality. The registry is responsible for registering vessels and is managed by the Vanuatu Maritime Services Limited (VMSL). The VMSL, which functions from its offices in New York, is a private company, but operates on contract as a maritime administrator for the government of Vanuatu. Any vessel with the national flag of Vanuatu enjoys the hospitality of ports across the globe.
Our trusted team can help you make the most out of your Vanuatu citizenship by guiding you through the entire process from start to finish. Get started with a complimentary consultation to discover if Vanuatu is right for you.