VANUATU OFFICIAL SEES NEED FOR RECOGNITION

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Vanuatu needs a link with world’s financial players

PORT VILA (Vanuatu Daily Post, May 16, 2008) - While telecommunications and infrastructure are being upgraded in the country, the head of one of the government’s leading agency still says that there is a strong indication that political will is the only key to linking Vanuatu with the world – financially.

George Andrews, Commissioner of Vanuatu Financial Services Commission, says public servants still need politicians with the will power to go to the frontline and consult with major financial players in the world.

In the same tone he also indicated that the current Government’s commitment to the "One China Policy" is a thumbs up to being able to opening doors that can guarantee a stronger financial sector for Vanuatu.

"At the moment, international companies being incorporated still lack some necessity and that is the opening of bank accounts that are recognisable anywhere around the world. We hope the government can approach China and seek some assistance in this matter," he said.

He also confirmed that despite much administrative achievements like laws being passed by parliament, there are still a few more doors that need opening.

"They (the major players) don’t treat us the same. Competition is still high with major players," he said.

Mr Andrews said one of the main obstacles is that if you open a bank account anywhere in the world, when they see Vanuatu, there is still much hesitation," he explained.

Mr Andrews said that is why only political will can overcome this.

The Commissioner for VFSC also said the need for more international banks to be operating on location here in Port Vila.

BRED Bank now located in Port Vila will open many more doors financially but if we can get Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank or even CITI Bank here, then more doors will definitely open," Commissioner Andrews said.

He said already VFSC has approached Minister for Finance Willie Jimmy on the matter.

"In order to link Vanuatu with the world, our financial sector must be placed at the same level as leading jurisdictions such as the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands," he said.

Mr Andrews said this was the main reason to why new legislations are being presented in parliament to strengthen the financial sector and giving Vanuatu direct link to the world.

Vanuatu Daily Post: http://www.vanuatudaily.com

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