Vanuatu. The islands discovered by Captain Cook turned into a popular offshore.
Vanuatu is a group of tropical islands east of Australia, near the coast of Queensland; The population of the islands is predominantly Melanesian, with a population of approximately 190,000. 80 islands are mountains, partly volcanic. On the two main islands there are international airports, most of the flights to Australia. The islands visited both English and French domination, until they gained independence in 1980. The main languages are English, French and Bislama (pidgin). Time is Greenwich plus eleven o'clock.
The power on the island is represented by a unicameral parliament, built according to the Westminster model, led by the prime minister and the elected president. The legal system is based on English common law, with little influence of civil law.
The economy of Vanuatu, historically based on agriculture and fisheries, is now more dependent on tourism and the financial services sector. Liners, making sea cruises, stop at two deep water ports. The volume of GDP is low - only 2 thousand dollars, but the economic growth rate is 4%. There is more than a sharp contrast between the relatively developed capital of Port Vila and the backward economy of most of the islands of Vanuatu. Most of the goods are imported from outside, and high import duties are the main source of income for the local government. Local currency - Vatu (VT) has a fixed rate relative to the basket of currencies, the main one being the US dollar; the rate is: 1 dollar = 130 watts.
There is no direct taxation in Vanuatu. Import and export duties, payment for registration, payment for issuing licenses, stamp duty and tax on turnover of tourist capital are sources of receipt of funds into the treasury of the state. Offshore sector is quite developed, offshore companies are created as international companies in the likeness of IBC. Banking, insurance and trust management are the main types of offshore activities - in Vanuatu there are more than 100 offshore banks.
Vanuatu has not concluded any agreements with countries on avoidance of double taxation or treaties on mutual international assistance. There is, however, domestic legislation against the practice of money laundering, which provides for international cooperation with investigative organizations. However, secrecy remains at a high level, having for that completely legal basis: since taxes as such do not exist, accordingly there is no such crime as concealment from them.
Vanuatu has about 12 large islands and about 65 - small ones. Two large cities: Vila (Port Vila) is the capital located on the island of Efate (population of 20 thousand people), and Luganville (also called Santo) on the island of Espiritu Santo (population 7 thousand people). Efate - this is the island that Captain Cook named Sandwich in honor of Lord Sandwich. All the islands are mountainous. On some - active volcanoes.
Two major airports - in Bauerfield, near Port Vila, and Pequo on Espiritu Santo - offer daily flights to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Solomon Islands and New Caledonia. On several islands there are airports serving local lines that connect the islands with each other. In addition, between the islands, sea ferries run, sea transport services can be used to travel to Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Caledonia.
Telephone, fax, e-mail and postal services in Vanuatu are at a good level.
The population of the islands is 190 thousand people (according to the 1999 census), the population growth rate is 2.5%. In Vanuatu, the indigenous population is represented in the overwhelming majority by Melanesians, in addition, there are small groups of Europeans, Chinese, Vietnamese, Polynesians and people from Micronesia. The national language is bislama (or bichlama), it is the Melanesian pidgin based on English; English and French also have official status. The main religion is Christianity, which coexists with local indigenous religions (approximately 8%).
The Supreme Court consists of a Supreme Judge appointed by the President after consultation with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition and three other judges appointed by the President on the advice of the Commission on Legal Services. The legal system of Vanuatu is based on English common law, subjected to some influence of French civil law. In addition, the British and French laws that existed before the introduction of the Constitution are still applied in the country, except when they do not comply with or are abrogated by the provisions of the Vanuatu Constitution.
The US ambassador to Papua New Guinea is also the US ambassador to Vanuatu. Great Britain is represented by the highest commission of Great Britain, France - by the French embassy. Vanuatu has a permanent mission to the United Nations.
Tourism has become an important branch of the economy of Vanuatu. In Port Vila and Santo you can see the wonderful international hotels and restaurants that serve passengers of cruise ocean liners.
In 1970, Vanuatu set out to become an offshore financial center, creating special conditions for the development of banking, insurance, trust management and maritime transport.
The government receives the most significant part of its revenues from customs duties, which inflate the cost of living for emigrants to the skies. Between the areas representing developed international business in Vanuatu, especially in Port Vila, and the rest of the country, there is a sharp contrast. Since two-thirds of the population is employed in backward agriculture, it simply does not make sense to determine the level of unemployment.
A retirement residence permit is granted to individuals whose net income is at least $ 104,000 and with a minimum monthly income of $ 2,600.
Payment for a residence permit varies within the following limits, depending on the proposed conditions:
1 year - 20 thousand wool;
3 years - 90 thousand cotton wool;
5 years - 130 thousand wool;
10 years - 230 thousand wool;
15 years - 330 thousand cotton wool.
For citizens of the European Community, Fiji, Japan, Norway, the Philippines, South Korea, Switzerland, the United States and the British Commonwealth, a visa for entering Vanuatu is not required if the period of their stay does not exceed 30 days. Visas can be obtained from the Immigration Department, Port Vila, Vanuatu, PO Box 014. Telephone: 22-345. Fax: 25-492.
Foreigners can conduct their business in Vanuatu with the help of a local intermediary company. To conduct business in Vanuatu, you need to obtain a business license (its value varies from 20,000 to 100,000 watts) and register the legal name of the company in accordance with the law on legal names, with the company paying annual license fees of $ 5,000. cotton wool. There is another type of additional payment for obtaining a license in the amount of 4% of the turnover of capital. All companies - both offshore and local - also pay annual registration fees. Their size depends on the amount of authorized capital and ranges from 30 thousand to 250 thousand cotton wool for local companies and between 50-250 thousand for exempt companies.
The law on official secrecy and other corporate laws provide confidentiality of information related to offshore business. As there is no income tax and double taxation treaties in Vanuatu, there is also no relevant legislation on the exchange of information. Domestic legislation, including provisions on mutual assistance in the law on criminal matters and the law on serious damage, is aimed at preventing money-laundering practices.
In 1980, all unconditional rights of ownership of land were abolished and replaced by lease relations. The lease terms vary depending on the location and use of the site. Annual rent is paid for rent. Other types of municipal payments can be used, but traditionally they are limited to small amounts. Every five years, the amount of payments is reconsidered. Rent for a period of 50 years (starting July 1980) is the standard type of rental in urbanized areas such as Port Vila and Santo. In rural areas, the lease period varies from 30 to 70 years.
Vanuatu. The islands discovered by Captain Cook turned into a popular offshore.