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Old 23-09-2005, 05:30 PM
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Vanuatu looks to PNG for investors

VANUATU is seeking Papua New Guinean investors to take advantage of the tax free opportunities in the Melanesian country.

There is a big opportunity to invest in Vanuatu in the service sectors like tourism and that comes with an attractive tax regime.

Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority chief executive officer Joe Ligo is currently in the country talking to his counterpart from the Papua New Guinea Investment Promotion Authority Ivan Pomaleu and other senior executives, including Leon Buskens, managing director of the Public Officers’ Superannuation Fund.

Mr Ligo will also submit proposals for investment opportunities in Vanuatu when he meets with different people and business houses while in the country.

Mr Ligo said PNG was the largest market in the Pacific bloc and other smaller Pacific Island countries should start looking within the region for investment opportunities as larger economies like Australia and New Zealand had done little to boost trade within the region.

He is in the country to also have a better understanding of Papua New Guinea’s Investment Promotion Authority.

Mr Ligo said Vanuatu’s IPA was undergoing a major review on foreign investment and he was in the country to seek assistance on how PNG could also assist in that area.

“We have to start looking within the region to increase trade relations,” Mr Ligo said.

“Papua is the biggest market in the Pacific bloc and with the level of technology that PNG has entered into, we can all learn so much from this country.”

He said PNG had a lot to offer other Pacific Island countries in both skills and technical areas and said he was impressed with the schedule of his meeting with different people during his visit to the country.

Mr Ligo also called on both Fiji and PNG to boost trade among the Melanesian Spearhead Group banner and then look at other Pacific neighbours.
“I believe my visit could open doors for PNG based companies to invest in Vanuatu but I have to build my understanding of the business climate in here,” Mr Ligo said.

“Our relationship (Vanuatu and PNG) was started by our leaders and we are working on strengthening that relationship that was established a long time ago.”
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