Vanuatu Should be on Top of the World

The Prime Minister is quite right, Vanuatu has felt the effects of the world recession over the last four years.  However, other countries that are in a similar position to Vanuatu  are now enjoying booming economies.  These are countries that have similar climatic conditions to us and are encouraging investment and retiree settlers.These countries like Vanuatu  are not industrialized nations that have allowed China to take  over their industries.  They are predominantly rural nations with great potential in tropical agriculture tourism and fishing.


Australia  is not the only country with an overly large part of its population on the verge of retirement known as baby boomers, North America and Europe are in a similar position and as a consequence countries in the Caribbean and Central America particularly are attracting them in droves. This is due not only to their climatic conditions and easy life style, but mostly to the tax free benefits these countries are offering and the promise that they will continue to do so. These countries (all former colonies) do not allow themselves to be bullied and are fiercely independent and proud of it.


Last year Belize had a 20% increase in tourism and Ecuador  was voted the best place in the world to retire in, yet Vanuatu doesn’t even get a mention and it should. We should be right in there with Belize , Ecuador , Panama , Costa Rica , Uruguay , St Kits, and Malta etc. For we can attract retirees not only from Australia and New Zealand but also from Asia, North America and Europe

Due to these countries attracting retirees and investors so many other things have improved like medical care and education.  Why? Because these new arrivals bring their money with them and when banks have money in them that they can lend at reasonable rates, this brings even more development.


Ecuador now has the biggest fishing port in the world and with that, comes industries like canning factories, ship building and ship and boat repairs and all of this improves the lives of the local people and makes the standard of living better.

I recently read that there has never been a better time in history for small independent countries to progress and obtain a more proportionate share of the world’s wealth for their people. For Vanuatu to benefit in this way it will take determination, dedication and the pursuit of its interests, not personal self-interests and not the interests of other nations with a superior condescending attitude.


Hopefully, now that we have at long last a stable government, it may now make some long-term commitments to the outside world. This will once again encourage people to bring their money  to Vanuatu and get away from the over populated and over taxed countries whose political leaders stay in power by taking money from people (who have worked all of their lives for it), so that they can give it to others who will vote for them.

Since Labor got into power, Australians are leaving Vanuatu due to the pressure that their government is applying here.  However, there was a lot of interest from France  and New Caledonia  for a while, but that interest has dropped off since this country has allowed itself to be pushed towards joining the WTO which will bring in income tax within five years. And although the WTO will initially probably give Vanuatu an exemption with regard to their land reform requirements, eventually they will get their way and one of the most important treasures that a Ni Vanuatu holds dear, will be lost forever, and then the only opportunity for the nation’s future generations will be to be allowed to pick fruit in Australia or New Zealand on a seasonal basis with no right of abode, as fruit picking is classified as unskilled labour.

Don’t misunderstand me I think that fruit picking is a good opportunity for a lot of  countries as it will give their people a look at the outside world, and create ideas when they return home, but most people want to learn skills and want a lot more for their children and grandchildren than to be an unskilled occasional fruit pickers at the whim of the politics of the day in another country.

Kevin W. Trueman

Kevin Trueman has had considerable business interests in
Australia, Papua New Guinea, the Pacific and South East Asia, in trading,
building, shipping, agricultural and pastoral enterprises. He’s currently in
business in Vanuatu and lives at Port Vila.

1 Comment

  1. toff said,

    Kev Kev
    Is this you
    I have lost contact and found this stuff on the web

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