First digital stock exchange office opens
Vanuatu National Digital Stock Exchange Office is located at the Air Vanuatu Building in town. Photo by Kizzy Kalsakau By Anita Roberts
Vanuatu National Digital Stock Exchange Office is located at the Air Vanuatu Building in town. Photo by Kizzy Kalsakau
By Anita Roberts

The first digital stock exchange in Vanuatu pioneered by investor Amy Feung is now operating from its new office opened by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trades and Business, Bob Loughman.

After being granted with a security dealers license by the Vanuatu Financial Service Commission (VFSC), the private company is now carrying out trading activities overseas.

It has been tapping into the Hong Kong and China markets.

The company is called Vanuatu National Digital Stock Exchange (VNDSX).

Its new office located at the 2nd floor of the Air Vanuatu Building in Port Vila is where buyers and sellers meet to trade stocks or assets electronically.

Stock exchange is a new type of trading business that can positively grow economic growth.

Minister Loughman said: “I understand the business will provide employment and of course, the government will receive indirect fees/taxes collected through the volume of transactions it (the business) will generate.

“It will also give small investors a chance to invest in companies once the law permits locally”.

Currently there are no laws regulating stock exchange in Vanuatu.

However, Minister Loughman assured that the government will make sure that the operation of this new business is regulated.

“It is the aim of this government to support investors who are willing to make business in Vanuatu.

“If there is no law to regulate then it will take necessary steps to make those appropriate legislations

“It is the duty of the government to ensure investors are secured while doing business in Vanuatu.

“The government will support this business and will make sure a regulator exists to regulate its operation as it will bring economic benefits”, he said.

The former opposition deputy leader and Member of Parliament (MP) for Malekula, Sato Kilman, said he is happy Vanuatu is embracing this innovative business, something it has been talking about over the past years.

“There are benefits and products the business can offer. It’s important that whatever we do, we must do it properly”, he added.

Investor Feung is applauded for taking lead in the business in Vanuatu.

Venturing into the business is not easy regarding the nature of its market thus, there will always be challenges, said Minister Loughman.

The VNDSX Compliance Officer said her job is to make sure the company operates legally and not bring any harm to the people of Vanuatu.

Vanuatu Daily Post

Forum recognizes constructive engagement on West Papua issue
Minister Ralph Regenvanu. Photo: PIFS
Minister Ralph Regenvanu. Photo: PIFS

One of the regionalism priorities mentioned in the Final Communique of the Pacific Islands Forum Summit in Nauru this week was the engagement by Forum countries on issues affecting West Papua.

Item 33 on the Forum Communique states, “Leaders recognised the constructive engagement by Forum countries with Indonesia with respect to elections and human rights in West Papua (Papua) and to continue dialogue in an open and constructive manner”.

Just before the final communique was released by the Forum Secretariat, Vanuatu’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Ralph Regenvanu who was in Nauru, in a telephone interview with Kizzy Kalsakau from 96 Buzz FM News, said he hoped West Papua would be included in the final communique.

Regenvanu said Vanuatu will be putting forward a resolution before the United Nations General Assembly next year for West Papua to be relisted on the agenda of the United Nations Decolonisation Committee.

He said for this to happen, it would need the support of the majority of the General Assembly, which means 100 countries will have to vote in support of the resolution.

“We are now putting up this resolution next year.

“We have informed all Pacific Islands Forum member countries that we are doing this and we will be asking for their support when it comes to the UN General Assembly next year.

“Already, i as minister of foreign affairs at the Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers meeting in Apia last month, i informed all my colleague foreign ministers that Vanuatu was gonna do this and i asked for their support,” Minister Regenvanu said.

He said already it is clear the resolution will not get the support from Australia, Fiji and Papua New Guinea but around eight or nine other countries in the Pacific are in support.

Regenvanu said Prime Minister Charlot Salwai had told him before the Leaders Retreat at the Forum meeting that he would raise the issue of West Papua with the Forum Leaders.

Other regionalism priorities mentioned in the communique are; Leaders recalled their 2017 decision on a regional security declaration and endorsedthe Regional Security Declaration to be known as the Boe Declaration; they recognised that climate change presents the single greatest threat to the livelihood, security and wellbeing of Pacific people; leaders reiterated their commitment to ensuring the long-term sustainability and viability of the region’s fisheries resources; leaders acknowledged the urgency and importance of securing the region’s maritime boundaries as a key issue for the development and security of the region; and leaders expressed their grave concern with the increasing incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), noting that NCDs now represents the leading cause of premature deaths in the region.