Vanuatu is a South Pacific Ocean nation made up of 80 plus islands in an archipelago that stretches 1,300 kilometers. Multiple waves of colonizers, each speaking a distinct language, migrated to the New Hebrides in the millennia preceding European exploration in the 18th century.
This settlement pattern accounts for the complex linguistic diversity found on the archipelago to this day. The British and French, who settled the New Hebrides in the 19th century, agreed in 1906 to an Anglo-French Condominium, which administered the islands until independence in 1980, when the new name of Vanuatu was adopted.
The Economy is primarily based on small-scale agriculture, which provides a living for about two-thirds of the population. Fishing, offshore financial services, and tourism, with an estimated 111,000 visitors in 2015, are other mainstays of the economy. Australia and New Zealand are the main source of tourists and aid. A small light industry sector caters to the local market. Tax revenues come mainly from import duties and ground rents.
Vanuatu is a beautiful, remote, tax-free tropical paradise. It is known not only for its great location and climate, but also as a great place for owning and operating a business.
Since 2002, the government has stepped up efforts to boost tourism through improved air connections, resort development, and cruise ship facilities. Agriculture, especially livestock farming is the second target for growth.
As with relocating anywhere, it is important to consider not only your own position and finances, but also the situation and customs of the place to which you will be moving. Costs of living are relatively low, but as with any other small island nation, Vanuatu relies on imports, which drives up prices a lot on items that cannot be produced locally. The islands have a very accessible system of banks, internet and mobile networks. This makes it very easy to move to Vanuatu, and yet still maintain a good and active connection with other places in the world.
The islands offer scuba diving at coral reefs, underwater caverns and wrecks such as the WWII-era troopship SS President Coolidge. Hiking trails ascend active volcanoes such as Mt. Yasur. Other popular activities include rain forest Eco tours, kayaking and deep-sea fishing, plus relaxing at resorts and spas.
Life on Vanuatu is far from hectic. For anyone who has visited ‘The Islands’ before – in the South Pacific or elsewhere – the description ‘hectic’ is one of the last words you would use to describe island life. People in the islands, with Vanuatu being no exception, often prefer to relax and take life as it comes.
Powdery white sand, clear blue waters and the subtle whisper of palms swaying in the cooling ocean breeze – Vanuatu certainly offers up its fair share of tropical relaxation, though this South Pacific archipelago isn’t just about beach front repose. Whether you’re a ‘culture cat’ seeking an authentic island experience, or an adventurer hoping for a few thrills, Vanuatu ticks all the boxes for a perfect island holiday.
The sandy shores of its capital, Port Vila, beckon to singles, couples and families alike, where you can explore colorful handicraft markets, visit the beautiful Mele Cascades, zipline through the treetops or try horse riding along the beach – all within a short distance from a large choice of accommodation. If adventure is what you seek, head to Espiritu Santo to dive one of the world’s best shipwrecks – The SS President Coolidge – enjoy the abundance of colorful marine life in one of many pristine blue holes.
Up the ante at Tanna Island and take a short walk to the rim of Mt Yasur, one of the world’s most accessible active volcanoes, for a once-in-a-lifetime experience…. or swim in underwater caves. You’ll find plenty of choices to fill every day with something exciting.
Companies & Banking System:
The Vanuatu International Companies Act is very similar to other international business company (IBC) laws around the world. It was written in 1992 and came into force the same year.
There are a number of features which make Vanuatu an attractive place to form an offshore company. Vanuatu has zero corporate tax, both for international and domestic/resident companies. Companies are also exempt from capital and exchange controls. Accounts must be kept but don’t need to be filed, and there are no auditing requirements.
Vanuatu companies are an interesting option for those seeking a high level of privacy and ease of use.
Bank secrecy has long been a target of international groups opposed to offshore tax havens. The argument goes that if governments don’t know who owns the account, they can’t effectively tax it.
Despite the fact that services such as numbered bank accounts are long gone, groups such as the Tax Justice Network continue their efforts to eliminate privacy around the world. As European nations such as Liechtenstein roll back their banking confidentiality programs, the most confidential offshore banking countries now include Vanuatu – rated as amongst the top tier in the world, (based on the amount of secrecy offered and not taking into consideration the significance of the jurisdiction).
This island chain is well-known to many of the world’s monied elite as an offshore banking jurisdiction since its 1971 offshore legislation came into effect.
While it’s still a tiny player in the offshore market, Vanuatu offers one of the highest degrees of confidentiality. The Government does not routinely collect financial information from its Citizens.
This, together with the absence of personal and corporate income taxes, estate and capital gains taxes, no exchange controls, and no reporting requirements renders Vanuatu a highly attractive banking centre.