VANUATU AND NEW CALEDONIA HOLD FIRST BUSINESS FORUM

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PORT VILA, Vanuatu (The Independent, Oct. 30) – Deputy prime minister and minister of public utilities Edward Natapei says that the participation of Vanuatu in the first-ever business forum initiated by the president of Southern Province of New Caledonia, Philippe Gomez, was positive.

Speaking at the arrival of the delegation at the Bauerfield International Airport on Wednesday morning, Minister Natapei highly praised Mr. Gomez for organizing this forum to enable the private sector for both countries to exchange ideas and know more about each other.

He said, "I see a positive outcome of the forum. The private sector of Vanuatu has been able to inform counterparts from New Caledonia on the climate and the possibility of investment in Vanuatu."

"I can read in the faces of French investors that they will come and invest," said Natapei.

The difficulties faced by investors center on a lack of facilities such as a French bank, but Bred Bank will soon open its doors in Port Vila.

"When I mentioned the name of the Bred Bank at the forum, they were happy and I think, it gives more confidence to them to come and invest in Vanuatu," says Minister Natapei.

Bred Bank is expected to open its doors at the end of this year.

At the moment, the renovation works are still underway at the former ANZ Bank building that will house the Bred Bank.

Bred Bank from Europe is established in Asia and in New Caledonia.

About twenty staff members from ANZ Bank have already joined Bred Bank, along with others from Westpac.

There is also a French legal business to advise investors.

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