20 September 2013

NEWS RELEASE: New company laws pave way for better business in Vanuatu

PSDI commenced consultations with the Vanuatu Financial
Services Commission in Port Vila in September. 
PORT VILA, VANUATU – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has welcomed the passage of the Companies (Insolvency and Receivership) Act and the Insolvency (Cross Border) Act in Vanuatu. The new Act in combination with the Companies Act passed in 2012 will make it easier for local people to conduct business.
ADB and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) supported drafting of the legislation through their co-financed 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 those involved in business in Vanuatu,” said Andrea Iffland, Regional Director of ADB’s office in Australia. The new company law reforms present a range of new choices for Ni-Vanuatu who plan to use a company to conduct business.
ADB has already begun consultations with the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission to assist in implementation of the new laws. Awareness-raising will be an integral part of implementation, during which members of the private sector, potential entrepreneurs, consumers and others will be informed of the benefits of the new laws which include innovations such as single shareholder/director companies and a new “community company” structure. A community company is a new type of private company in which up to 50 shareholders together agree on a principal objective to promote a particular community interest. Business registry development will also be part of the implementation.
The business law reforms in Vanuatu are part of a larger regional effort by ADB to modernize outdated company laws to those more suitable for small island economies.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 co-financed 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.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2012, ADB assistance totaled $21.6 billion, including cofinancing of $8.3 billion.

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