Economy of Vanuatu

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Vanuatu > Map Economy History

Economy - overview: The economy is based primarily on subsistence or small-scale agriculture which provides a living for 65% of the population. Fishing, offshore financial services, and tourism, with about 50,000 visitors in 1997, are other mainstays of the economy. Mineral deposits are negligible; the country has no known petroleum deposits. A small light industry sector caters to the local market. Tax revenues come mainly from import duties. Economic development is hindered by dependence on relatively few commodity exports, vulnerability to natural disasters, and long distances from main markets and between constituent islands. The most recent natural disaster, a severe earthquake in November 1999 followed by a tsunami, caused extensive damage to the northern island of Pentecote and left thousands homeless. GDP growth has risen less than 3% on average in the 1990s. In response to foreign concerns, the government is moving to tighten regulation of its offshore financial center.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $245 million (1999 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,300 (1999 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 24%
industry: 13%
services: 63% (1997 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.9% (1998 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 65%, services 32%, industry 3% (1995 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $94.4 million
expenditures: $99.8 million, including capital expenditures of $30.4 million (1996 est.)
Industries: food and fish freezing, wood processing, meat canning
Industrial production growth rate: 1% (1997 est.)
Electricity - production: 32 million kWh (1998)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)
Electricity - consumption: 30 million kWh (1998)
Agriculture - products: copra, coconuts, cocoa, coffee, taro, yams, coconuts, fruits, vegetables; fish, beef
Exports: $33.8 million (f.o.b., 1998)
Exports - commodities: copra, beef, cocoa, timber, coffee
Exports - partners: Japan 32%, Germany 14%, Spain 8%, New Caledonia 7%, Australia 2% (1997 est.)
Imports: $76.2 million (f.o.b., 1998)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, fuels
Imports - partners: Japan 52%, Australia 20%, New Caledonia, Singapore, New Zealand, France, Fiji (1997 est.)
Debt - external: $48 million (1997 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $45.8 million (1995)
Currency: 1 vatu (VT) = 100 centimes

SOURCE: The World Factbook

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Vanuatu > Map Economy History