Infrastructure is a key enabling component for Vanuatu's economy. Given the country’s geography (scattered and isolated) and the government's inability to financially support infrastructure developments in the rural areas have seen the majority of the population disadvantaged from essential socio-economic services .
Demand and Growth
Vanuatu has a relatively well-developed infrastructure. Beginning with the tar-sealed roads on both Efate and Santo funded by the Millennium Challenge Fund, further improvements have now seen the
- upgrading of the country's main wharves - Port Vila and Luganville that will handle both standard and refrigerated 20-foot ship containers
- upgrading of the International Air port in Port Vila and soon the same will happen with the Pekoa airport
- The beautification project at the Port Vila Seafront
- roads improvement in the Islands of Tanna and Malekula
The fact that 80 % of the country's population is rural-based means there are a lot of domestic economic activities taking place. However, these activities remain to be of small scale because of lack of access to markets. Such disadvantage is attributed mostly by the lack of regular transport services. An improved infrastructure framework will see the improvement of transport services which will enhance trading opportunities for the rural communities.
Reliable diesel and hydroelectric power and water supplies are available in Port Vila and Luganville, while telecommunications and data transmission systems are of excellent standards through the two key ICT providers; Telcom Vanuatu Ltd (TVL) and (ii) Vanuatu Dgcel Ltd.
The government has identified a number of islands as potential sites for specific projects such as cattle farming, slipway development, coconut and cocoa farming. All these islands will need to have excellent infrastructure networks developed.
Infrastructure sector definitely presents a number of investment opportunities, particularly in the following industries:
- Energy - Introducing other sources of energy
- Software and ICT Services
- Financial Services
The Ministry of Public Utilities who is responsible for all infrastructure developments is committed to see all priority projects completed. Road developments on Tanna and Malekula have began and see other islands getting the same service. Government's specific support to these projects include exemption on duty on imports of material used.