In an op-ed in Solomon Star News, Gavin Murray and Franz Drees-Gross write that "TODAY is International Women’s Day, and a perfect time to reflect on why it is so important to promote gender equality in the Pacific."
For hotel investors, the Pacific nation of Vanuatu is an ideal destination: an island paradise surrounded by a pristine coastline with a promising tourism sector offering large beachfront plots for development.
Perched on the waterfront, Port Vila's bustling outdoor market is a hive of activity that operates 24 hours a day. Stalls stacked with fresh fruit and homegrown vegetables, vibrant tropical flowers, and locally made souvenirs are mostly run by women
IFC helped the government of the Pacific island nation Vanuatu to reduce the approval time for foreign investments to just 15 days, a reform that helps create jobs for the local economy by allowing investors to set up their businesses faster
IFC supports businesses in Vanuatu through investments and advice that help create jobs and improve lives. Together with the government and the private sector, we focus on supporting sustainable tourism, making financing available where it is needed, improving Vanuatu’s investment climate, and developing basic infrastructure.
Creating Opportunity through Sustainable Tourism Development
Tourism makes up more than half of Vanuatu’s economy, making it the country’s most important growth sector. Developing the tourism industry is therefore a priority both for IFC and the government. To increase investment in the sector, we are helping the government promote promising sites for tourism development to international investors. We help to make financing available to small, local entrepreneurs who set up tourism-related businesses and we make sure that the tourism industry benefits local communities.
Improving the Investment Climate
IFC advises the government on developing laws and regulations that allow the private sector to flourish so that it can create jobs – cutting red tape, encouraging competition, speeding up business registration. First results have seen the cost of complying with business-entry regulation drop by 20 percent.
To attract much needed foreign investment, we work with Vanuatu’s Investment Promotion Authority to streamline procedures and to cut the license approval time to five days from 30 days.
Less than 20 percent of Vanuatu’s population have access to electricity or running water and close to a third live in rural areas far from services and markets. Investing in infrastructure is therefore critical to IFC’s work in the country. We advise the government on private sector participation in complex projects, helping attract responsible investors and ensuring a level playing field among all stakeholders.