General Information

Vanuatu is a South Pacific Ocean nation made up of roughly 80 islands that stretch 1,300 kilometers. The islands offer scuba diving at coral reefs, underwater caverns and wrecks such as the WWII-era troopship SS President Coolidge. Harborside Port Vila, the nation’s capital and economic center, is on the island of Efate. The city is home to the Vanuatu National Museum, which explores the nation’s Melanesian culture.

Population

Vanuatu has a population of 286,429

Political Structures

The Republic of Vanuatu is a parliamentary democracy with a written constitution, which declares that the “head of the Republic shall be known as the President and shall symbolize the unity of the nation.” The powers of the President of Vanuatu, who is elected for a five-year term by a two-thirds majority of an electoral college, are primarily ceremonial. The Electoral College consists of members of Parliament and the presidents of Regional Councils. The President may be removed by the Electoral College for gross misconduct or incapacity.

Infrastructure and Economy

The four mainstays of the economy are agriculture, tourism, offshore financial services, and raising cattle. There is substantial fishing activity, although this industry does not bring in much foreign exchange. Exports include copra, kava, beef, cocoa and timber, and imports include machinery and equipment, foodstuffs and fuels. In contrast, mining activity is unsubstantial.

Languages

Vanuatu’s official languages include: English, French and Bislama

Currency

Vanuatu vatu (VUV)

Exchange Controls

Vanuatu does not have exchange controls

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