The Government of Vanuatu has opened a new office for the Vanuatu Electronic Single Window Project (VESWP).
Vanuatu is the first country in the Pacific to launch the Electronic Window Project (2019-2020), an online software system for evaluation and management of import and export certificates, license and permits.
Expected to be completed in 2021, the single window will substantially reduce barriers to trade, reduce border clearance times and improve security of traded goods.
The VESWP is jointly funded with AUD450, 000 from the Australian Aid program (under the Governance Growth Program) and USD1.5 million under the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF).
EIF is a multilateral partnership of 51 countries, 24 donors and 8 partner agencies dedicated to assisting least developed countries using Trade as an engine for growth, sustainable development and poverty reduction.
The new VESWP office was opened by the Australian Assistant Minister of Trade, Australian Minister of Trade, Tourism and Investment Mark Coulton, in conjunction with the Director General of the Ministry of Tourism, Trade, Commerce and Ni-Vanuatu Business, Ambassador Roy Mickey Joy.
The office will be managed by Manager of Customs Border and Enforcement, Stanley Trief and three other officers, a Tariff specialists, an ICT expert and a Biosecurity Officer.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development will support the implementation of the project.
The reform will be a collaborative effort between a number of bodies, including the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management, the Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Agriculture and the reserve Bank of Vanuatu.
Assistant Trade Minister Coulton congratulated the Vanuatu Government on its policy vision in undertaking such an ambitious project.
“Vanuatu as the first Pacific island country to implement an electronic single window, setting an example for its Pacific Island neighbours,” he said.
DG Roy Mickey Joy outlined the benefits of the project to Vanuatu. These included making exports more competitive, which will both increase incomes of Ni-Vanuatu, all the way back on the islands and also help to attract investment.
The project will also make imports cheaper, which will help to raise living standards. Finally, the Single Window will improve Government efficiency and decision-making.
“The online system is efficient, it will increase flow of information between Customs and Trade, it will also facilitate the flow of Goods into and out of the country.”
On behalf of the people of Vanuatu, DG Joy expressed his gratitude to the donors for their ongoing support .
The VESWP was launched on Santo last year.