14 Nov 2019

Vanuatu's 'Rainbow City' development gets go ahead

9:52 am on 14 November 2019

A controversial real estate development outside Port Vila has been given the go ahead as it meets all legal requirements, according to Vanuatu's Investment Promotion Authority (VIPA).

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File photo. Photo: Laszlo Konya/ 123rf

VIPA's certification and implementation manager Gelpen Silas said the Vanuatu registered company FPF had its Rainbow City development approved after meeting with all the authority's criteria.

FPF also owns and runs the weekly Chinese-English language newspaper The Vila Times, and runs a consultancy offering help securing Vanuatu citizenship.

On it's website, FPF highlights a reason for applying for citizenship is the country being a tax haven.

'Rainbow City' has been criticised by local Eretap villagers, fearing they will be shut out of the gated community's medical centre and school once the development is complete.

There have also been claims that ni-Vanuatu construction workers have been paid less than the minimum wage while working on the development.

Mr Silas said those were serious claims, which should be raised with the Labour Department.

"They have the right to go directly to the Labour Department to raise their concerns. And I believe it's the role of the Labour Department to ensure that the investor is complying with the minimum wage rate to pay the workers according to the their approved rates."