Under the EIF, Vanuatu is starting implementation of a Tier 1 project in support of their National Implementation Arrangements (NIAs).
Under the Integrated Framework (IF), Vanuatu benefited from one Window II project to provide legislative assistance to the Department of Customs to review the customs duties Act and related legislation, and to have a comprehensive update of the Act; support to WTO accession process; and entrepreneurship training to cooperatives. The National Implementation Unit (NIU) (and now the Trade Development Division) was also established in 2007 under the IF Window II project.
While Vanuatu has seen steady economic growth as a result of the Government’s commitment to economic reforms and pursuit of growth-driven policies, Cyclone Pam disrupted development progress five months ago, and the Chairman said the Government is committed to getting back on track to the long-term priorities. Key barriers to trade to be discussed include;
Vanuatu validated a Mainstreaming Trade Roadmap in 2011, a process supported by the EIF and UNDP. The Roadmap has subsequently been adopted by the Council of Ministers and contributed to the vision and basis for the Trade Policy Framework (TPF) as well as their Tier 1 project. The Roadmap has been a key input into Vanuatu's Trade Policy Framework, adopted in 2012. It takes forward the diagnostics from the DTIS and other studies, together with the Trade Mainstreaming Roadmap – financed through the EIF and implemented by UNDP – to provide economic development guidance.
- strengthening productive sector,
- developing tourism infrastructure, and
- educating and up-skilling our population and increasing resilience to natural disasters were discussed and supported by new recommendations.
- The first session monitored the progress in implementing the decisions taken at the previous NTDC meeting from March this year.
- The second session comprised of two presentations to give an overview of both policy developments and projects to increase trade and domestic production.
Vanuatu’s current and proposed trade negotiations, which are:
- Vanuatu/New Caledonia Bilateral Trade Agreement Negotiations;
- Vanuatu/China Bilateral Trade Agreement Negotiations;
- PACER-Plus Trade Negotiations between Forum Island Countries and Australia & New Zealand;
- Melanesian Spearhead Group Trade Agreement (MSGTA) negotiations between MSG Parties; and
- The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between Pacific ACP States and the European.