12 Oct 2012

Vanuatu agency says no to manufacturing tobacco

11:02 am on 12 October 2012

Vanuatu authorities have turned down a request by a Singapore-based tobacco company to manufacture in Vanuatu but the company is still looking for farmers to grow tobacco for export.

The Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority turned down the company's request earlier this year.

Sally Round reports.

"A spokesperson for the authority says the company's approval certificate only allows it to farm not process. But he says the company has hit another hurdle with quarantine restrictions on importing seed into Vanuatu. The Authority says Vanuatu's health regulations surrounding tobacco would be prohibitive for the company. A New Zealand group advocating tobacco control among Pacific Island people Tala Pasifika says it's appalled at the tobacco industries' continuing efforts to move into less stringently regulated countries. The group says letting in a tobacco company would be a backward move for Vanuatu people's health."