VIPA TO LEAD GOVERNMENT'S ONE-STOP-SHOP POLICY INITIATIVE

The Official launching of this policy initiative is set to first week of September 2017. Repeated shifting of the launching is due to the incomplete renovation works currently taking place.

Indeed, this has been a long standing issue for the Government. In fact many claimed the original purpose of establishing VIPA is to become the Government's one-stop-shop. At that time, to start up a business took a long time due to many red tapes within the departments concerned.

The idea did not materialize as expected due to a number of reasons with capacity issue as the main contributing factor.

Never the less, progress is now underway to make this policy a reality.

The Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority (VIPA) will be the contact point for this policy initiative.

It’s a big relief for the business community and, of course, the general members of the public at large, when Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai, and Lands Minister Ralph Regenvanu, announced last week that the French Embassy building premises will become a Vanuatu Government “One-Stop-Shop”.

“For business community at large, yes and foreign investors, not to exclude locals as well, because you walk into that “One-Stop-Shop” and get every thing done within the same premises. You don’t waste fuel, you do not waste time, the hustles of running around every-where just to get one document completed is minimized,” says a local business man who commented on the Government initiative of setting up a one-stop-shop.

He said it’s one of the wisest moves made by the Government of the day and also a long awaited for too.

 “It is not only helping business communities but think of how much money the past governments have been spending on renting private premises for all the departments that occupy to provide services to the public. The cost of renting probably consumes huge amount of revenue they were making which should have been spent on service deliveries,” he observed. The day after Daily Post carried an article on French Ambassador handing back the French Embassy building to the Vanuatu Government, one local remarked: “ All along, I had thought that the French Government owned the Building.

“But surprisingly enough, the building always belonged to the Vanuatu Government as I read in the Daily Post and not only that but the fact the French Embassy actually rented the building premises to the Vanuatu Government for some 30 years at Vt6 million a year which is a lot of revenue for the Vanuatu Government,” the local expressed. According to the Prime Minister and Minister for Lands, the government services that will be provided from within the same premises of the ex-French Embassy include; Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority, Labour Department, Immigration, VTO, office space for one Customs Department staff and now a call to provide a space within the government one-stop-shop too for the civil status and passport offices.

Hopes are high that once this policy becomes operational, this could trigger another shift to a more improved ranking for Vanuatu in terms of "Ease of Doing Business".

And this depends very much on how all departments concerned demonstrates seriousness in making this work.

Vanuatu one-stop-shop

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