Doing business

Current Business Situation

Australian companies present in Vanuatu provide a range of services such as:

  • hospitality and tourism services
  • training and education services
  • building and construction
  • supply of building materials
  • financial and ICT services
  • food and wine products.

Opportunities for Australian companies are supported by Australia’s close proximity to Vanuatu, industry and technical experience and know-how.  The deep supply chains and production facilities in Australia provide support to business in Vanuatu.  Funding for key projects by multilateral banks provide an opportunity for Australian companies to provide construction services and equipment and technical and consulting advice. Establishing a local company may be necessary to facilitate business and adhere to investment rules.

Business Tips

When visiting Vanuatu it is recommended that all appointments be made prior to visiting customers, explain the purpose of your visit and provide a few points of discussion for the meeting.
Business meetings can be an informal affair. Suits are rarely worn to business functions. Business attire is informal and there is generally no need for jackets and ties. 

English is widely spoken. It is important to be aware that other languages commonly spoken include French and Bislama (Pidgin English).

Transportation across the islands can be limited so planning travel well in advance is necessary. Projects are underway to improve regional infrastructure.  Local taxis are available but they do not accept credit cards.

Vanuatu relies on a few commodity exports (agriculture and beef) and tourism for foreign exchange. Australia is one of the main investors in the Vanuatu economy.  Several aid projects funded by multilateral banks and bilateral partners are underway to improve infrastructure, roads, water and housing across the country.

Natural disasters are known to occur in Vanuatu so building resilience and capacity to respond to these is critical to minimise economic uncertainty.

Australian exporters should look to visit the market regularly to understand the market, meet with businesses or the Vanuatu Investment authority or Chamber of Commerce.

Links and resources

Government, business and trade

Australia Pacific Islands Business Council
Department of Finance and Treasury
Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce
Vanuatu Project Management Unit

Banking/Finance/Insurance

AON Vanuatu Ltd
ANZ Business
BRED (Vanuatu) Ltd
National Bank of Vanuatu
QBE Insurance
Reserve Bank of Vanuatu

News and media

Vanuatu Daily Post

Please note: This list of websites and resources is not definitive. Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement by Austrade. The information provided is a guide only. The content is for information and carries no warranty; as such, the addressee must exercise their own discretion in its use. Australia’s anti-bribery laws apply overseas and Austrade will not provide business related services to any party who breaches the law and will report credible evidence of any breach. For further information, please see foreign bribery information and awareness pack.