More about Vanuatu
Capital: Port Vila
Currency: Vanuatu Vatu (VUV)
Time zone: VUT (UTC +11)
Vanuatu consists of 83 islands located about 800 kms west of Fiji and 2,250kms northeast of Sydney. Until the explorers and missionaries arrived around the 15th century, Vanuatu had been home to Melanesians for over 3,500 years. It now has a Westminster parliamentary style of democracy since its independence on 30th July 1980, after more than 70 years of rule by Great Britain and France. Its original name given by Capt James Cook in 1774 was New Hebrides and the legal system is based on British law. The population is 95% indigenous “Ni-Vanuatu” of Melanesian descent.
Vanuatu for many years already has been a financial centre, without any personal or corporate taxes nor any tax treaties with foreign countries. On all goods and services a Value Added Tax (VAT) is charged at 12.5%.There are exports of copra, manganese, hardwood and beef, whilst Tanna Island is famous for its excellent coffee grown there.
Vanuatu has a tropical climate in most areas with subtropical conditions at some of the most
southern islands.Average temperatures range from 25°C in winter to 29°C in summer; please note the seasons are directly opposite to those in the Northern hemisphere, and Dec – March is also the cyclone season with hot and rainy conditions throughout.
The culture of Vanuatu has been mainly influenced due to colonization by the British and the French. Even though the national language of Vanuatu is Bislama, due to the impact of colonization both English and French languages are also considered as official languages.
In terms of religion, Christianity is still the major religion in Vanuatu and the majority of the Christians adhere to the Presbyterian church in Vanuatu. The culture of Vanuatu is also diverse across different regions and particularly in the central region, Melanesian values also dominate.