Growth pains: Vanuatu’s transition

Vanuatu is in the news again. Along with three other Pacific Island countries, which enjoy the status of least developed country (LDC) for special treatment by international donor community including various multilateral funding agencies aside from industrialized nations, Vanuatu has made the right signals once again, as it would be graduating soon. Addressing the Comprehensive…

Oil price uncertainty

The oil price is rising. Good days of price per barrel between US$40 to US$50 appear to be over. In normal times, oil price is determined by its own supply and demand. Oil price rose more than 70 percent since early this year due to supply disruptions around the globe. The June 23 British referendum…

Facing up to corruption

Taking a principled stand against corruption, especially when corruption is entrenched, doesn’t come without some cost, personally and even politically, as appears to have been hinted at in the latter case in the Solomon Islands. Let me first illustrate by what I mean when I refer to personal cost when facing up to corruption. In…

Climate change: the lament of a people

ALLOW me to retell a familiar experience of my brothers and sisters living on the artificial islands in the happy isles in a situation we’re stunned and marvel as effects of climate change take its tolls. From the outset, the issue about climate change is its enormity, too big that, the rest of humanity could…

Strong stuff from SFA

Urgent action is needed THIS week forestry regulatory body, Solomon Forest Association (SFA) issued a veiled warning that if the Government does not act in doing something about rogue logging companies, it would wind up. Such drastic action would leave the door wide open for fly-by-night loggers to come and go and to practice their…

The Future of the Melanesian Economies

“Aid dependency, resource dependency, and natural disasters remain huge challenges for the region.”  Securing long-term economic viability remains a challenge for the Melanesian states, with geographic isolation, climate change, natural disasters, and aid dependency presenting significant problems for these relatively young countries. Vanuatu has a population of 270,000 and a GDP of $771 million. Designing an…

A new MSG Trade Agreement

Last week in Port Vila, a new Melanesian Free Trade Agreement was reached by Trade Ministers from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, the members of Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG). The new trade agreement, which took three years of negotiations, after signatures by MSG Leaders and ratification by parliament, will be known as…