Vanuatu now has a new set of polymer banknotes and they are Vt2000, Vt1000 and Vt200.
These new polymer banknotes were launched yesterday at the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu.
The Governor of the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu (RBV), Mr Simeon Athy, during the launching said the first Vatu note family series was developed and presented to the country in 1982 without much inputs and involvement from the local authorities and public.
Mr Athy stated: “Because of the timing factor the denominations were designed by the manufacturer and issued immediately by the authority to commence the birth of a new nation.
“But 33 years on, the current Vatu Note series has faced a lot of challenges. First, the lifespan of the notes has reduced significantly, making it more costly for the Bank to produce in the last three to four years.
“This is due to the continued challenging humid climate of the country and the scattered geographical layout of our islands which sees a lot of currencies circulating in the islands for a long time before returning to the Reserve Bank only to be destroyed.
“Counterfeiting is also a rising trend that continues to pose a challenge to the current paper notes with lesser security features that could easily be counterfeited. Another factor is the strong growth recorded in the demand for cash by the public over the last few years as a result of the strong economic growth of the country.
“In 2008, the Reserve Bank carried out a public survey with the intension to determine the public demand for the current family denominations.
“The result of the survey showed the following: (1) high rating for the phasing out of the Vt1 and Vt2 coins; (2) a strong push for the currency counterfeiting challenges to be contained; and (3) a high demand for the issuing of a Vt10000 bank note which was launched as the first of the new note series in July 2010.
“Following the above findings, the Bank decided to review and come up with a new family of notes series that will better address the areas identified.
“The outcome concluded that polymer notes stand way higher in addressing the issues listed and a change to a new family of notes series was a right step forward to take after 33 years since the current family of notes series were issued into circulation.
“The Bank with the Board’s approval awarded the printing work of the first and highest denomination (Vt 10000) of the new family of polymer note series to Note Printing Australia (NPA). For the latest additions, the Board through a tender process approved the printing job to Oberthur Fiduciare, a French private printery who is a pioneer in the note printing business.
“The designing of the new family of notes was challenging but very rewarding. The process was undertaken with Innovia Australia in consultation with the special technical committee that was set-up by the Bank to oversee the project.
“The technical committee was represented by a number of individuals selected from within the Bank and outside representing the key sectors in the economy.
“The new family series is presented under a number of themes. The new Vt10000 notes denomination launched in July 2010 bears the theme of communication.
“This theme was chosen to portray the significant advancement of communication from the traditional way to the modern contribution of the telecommunication business to the economic development of the country to date following the opening up of the domestic telecommunication sector in recent years.
“The current three additional series to be launched, Vt2000 which is a new addition to the family series, bears the theme of Flora and Fauna. This theme is chosen to represent our beautiful country’s greenery and unique animals and plant species.
“Vt1000 carries the theme of agriculture, which portrays the country’s continuous reliance on subsistence farming and agriculture for the sustenance of its population. And finally Vt200 bears the theme of family to portray the country’s strong belief in maintaining a strong family bond. Vt5000 and Vt500 will be joining the new family of notes series in the next two to three years.
Given the high-ranking dignitaries and stakeholders present here with us today, it would be remise of us not to make mention of the general monetary developments and policy initiatives that the Bank is planning to embark on soon.
“While the Reserve Bank has the sole legal authority to issue legal tender currency as we have just heard, the Bank is also tasked under its own Act to undertake monetary and financial sector stability policies, while ensuring at the same time that it continues to foster economic development.
“Today, I am pleased to announce that a prudential measure known as Liquidity Asset Ratio imposed on the financial institutions will be further eased this month to cater for the liquidity requirements of the financial institutions.
“Secondly, the Bank is currently in consultation with the financial institutions and relevant government agencies on a credit facility that it believes will help broaden the export base of the country,” Reserve Bank Governor Mr Athy said.
The Governor then thanked the Government of Vanuatu for supporting the RBV and those who contributed towards the first new polymer notes and the new polymer notes.