Key Projects of Vanuatu
Island bungalows (Vanuatu Safaris Air Pass)
Although tourism is an important source of foreign exchange for Vanuatu, the benefits of are not always felt by communities in the country’s outer islands. Strategies have been launched to generate tourist interest in more remote locations by creating a tourism industry on the islands, including accommodation in ‘island bungalows’ – small bush cabins built from local materials – and making travel to the outer islands more financially viable for tourists. The Vanuatu Island Bungalow Association (VIBA) is responsible for overseeing the development of this tourism development programme. To develop the programme, a partnership was established between VIBA, Vanuatu’s regional airline Safaris Air Pass, island bungalow managers, travel agents and wholesalers, local tour operators and international funding agencies. Safaris Air Pass provided coupons to save 50 per cent on regional air travel.
Access to renewable energy in rural areas
A public–private partnership seeks to assist tourism operators in undertaking business environment reforms to create more favourable business and investment conditions, by defining a framework to enable rural tourism operators to access renewable energy. The project aims to develop appropriate models of renewable energy access in rural areas, participate with current sector activities and bring about the development of a Vanuatu Energy Road Map. A public–private partnership mechanism will be developed to link private renewable energy suppliers with rural tourism operators.
After gaining independence in 1980 the government played the main role in providing services and development projects to the country. In 1991, following a downfall in service delivery, development and economy, the government saw a need to undergo national reform, allowing the government to outsource infrastructure development to the private sector. The Priority Action Agenda (PAA) 2006–15 laid out plans for infrastructure development investment. These plans aimed to establish profitable and competitively priced infrastructure, utilities and services, either through public enterprises or private sector partnerships. As well as this, the PAA aimed to encourage the development of a competitive private sector in the provision of utilities and services and minimise the subsidy requirements for public utilities.
In 2010, the Infrastructure Development Master Plan was implemented for the development of infrastructure in the areas of transport utilities and looked for funding assistance from donors or financing institutions. Private sector participation in the implementation of government infrastructure development plans is backed by the constitution, as well as the Government Contracts and Tenders Act 1998, the Public Finance and Economic Management Act and the Public Service Act. There is no specific PPP policy or legal framework in place in Vanuatu, although the government has been trying to establish a policy, legal framework and governance structure since 1991. In 2008 the Build Own Operate and Transfer (BOOT) 2008 legislation was introduced by the government specifically for the purpose of developing a PPP for the construction of an international airport, but the project did not attract sufficient investment interest and so the legislation has never been used.