19 Dec 2014

Soft drink tax worries brewer

11:30 am on 19 December 2014

Vanuatu Brewing Limited, which imports Coca Cola into Vanuatu, is calling on the government to repeal its new excise tax.

The new law, which comes into force on the first of next month, will increase import duties on Coca-Cola drinks by up to 30 percent.

The tax, tabled by the Ministry of Health, is an attempt to cut critical levels of non-communicable diseases in Vanuatu.

But the VBL's financial manager, Yoan Tabisal, says the new tax will not create an environment conducive to doing business, nor will it reduce the levels of NCDs.

He says consumers will simply move to other types of drinks, because the new law does not ban imports of other sugary juices, such as orange juice.