The Minister of Trade Tourism Commerce and Ni Vanuatu Business (MTTCNVB) Minister James Bule has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Enhance Integrated Framework (EIF) at his Office on Thursday 19th of November 2020.
The Vanuatu Government through the Ministry of Trade is delighted as being one of the LDC countries to receive support both in technical and financial assistance. The continuous support offered by the EIF signifies a well-established partnership between us.
Since 2013, the EIF has invested approximately US$6.5million to strengthen the institutional capacity for trade, revive the tourism sector and enhance trade facilitation in Vanuatu.
Through its project’s support, Vanuatu mainstreamed trade in its National Sustainable Development Plan (NSDP 2016-2030) and, in 2019, finalised updating its National Trade Policy Framework 2019-25.
On September 2017, the New Zealand Government in partnership with the EIF co-funded the new seafront development that was destroyed by Cyclone Pam in March 2015.
In 2018, the EIF also funded a Rapid e-Trade Readiness assessment requested by the Government of Vanuatu and implemented by UNCTAD. In the same year 2018, EIF in partnership with the Australia Government- Governance of Growth co- funded one of the extremely beneficial trade facilitation systems in Vanuatu, the Electronic Single Window project.
In addition to all the direct project funding, the EIF has partnered with the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) in support to build the capacity of Vanuatu Investment Promotion Agencies and MTTCNVB to attract both domestic investment and FDIs with a hope to strengthen the country’s capacity to attract FDI.
Currently, as part of the signed MOU, the EIF has again approved to fund a Sustainability Support Phase project worth of US $300,000 to be implemented by the Ministry of Trade for 2 years.
The overall SSP project objectives are to improve the trade governance, investment environment and promoting economic opportunities for Vanuatu though the guidance of the Trade Policy Framework 2019-25.
Minister Bule also emphasised the importance of this project objectives be achieved in a manner that is delicate to the unprecedented impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic as well as the historic occasion of Vanuatu’s graduation from the LDC status.
With means of Vanuatu’s appreciation to the EIF in Geneva, Minister Bule has formally invited Dr Ratnakar Adhikari- the Executive Director of the Enhance Integrated Framework to be part of the historic event- LDC graduation on December 4 in Vanuatu.