Company Law Reforms in Vanuatu Will Boost Ease of Doing Business - ADB

PORT VILA, VANUATU – Vanuatu’s new Companies (Insolvency and Receivership) Act and Insolvency (Cross Border) Act, in combination with the 2012 Companies Act, will make it easier for local people to conduct business.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) supported drafting of the legislation through the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI).

“These ADB-assisted business law reforms will help lower the costs of establishing, running and winding up businesses in Vanuatu,” said George Andrews, Commissioner of the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission.

“ADB is supporting the implementation of the Acts to ensure the benefits are enjoyed by all involved in business in Vanuatu,” said Andrea Iffland, Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Country Liaison office. “These new laws present a range of choices for entrepreneurs, including single shareholder/director companies, and an innovative community company structure. Electronic business registry development is also part of implementation.”

ADB and the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission have begun consultations to assist the Government in implementing the new laws. Awareness-raising is an integral part of implementation, during which members of the private sector, potential entrepreneurs and others will be informed of the benefits of the new laws.

The company law reforms in Vanuatu are part of a larger regional effort by ADB to introduce modern company laws that are more suitable for small island economies. Through, PSDI ADB is also supporting company law reform initiatives in Solomon Islands, Tonga, Samoa Cook Islands, Palau and Kiribati.

PSDI is a regional technical assistance facility cofinanced by AusAID, the New Zealand Aid Programme, and ADB. Since 2006, PSDI has been working with ADB's 14 Pacific Developing Member Countries to improve the enabling environment for business and support inclusive, private sector–led economic growth.