15 Jan 2019

Vanuatu launches free trade zone

8:59 pm on 15 January 2019

Vanuatu has launched its first Free Trade Zone on a 50 hectare site on the northern island of Espiritu Santo.

Santo, Vanuatu

Santo, Vanuatu Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

The newly appointed Director General of Trade, Roy Mickey Joy, says the zone on the biggest island in the country is set up to attract foreign companies to manufacture for the export market.

Mr Joy, a former Ambassador to the European Union, said Vanuatu had to develop its zone like Fiji and Mauritius had done.

He said Vanuatu also hoped to use the initiative to follow up on trade discussions on seasonal work in Australia and New Zealand and how to increase the number of ni-Vanuatu workers there.

Vanuatu currently has the biggest number of seasonal workers in New Zealand, totaling around 4,000.

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