India-Vanuatu Bilateral Relations
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India-Vanuatu Bilateral Relations

Till mid-2000, the Indian High Commission in Canberra was accredited to Vanuatu. The accreditation was transferred to HCI, Port Moresby in August 2000.

Political relations

Vanuatu dignitaries visited India for attending international conferences/meetings. Prime minister, Mr. Barak Sope visited India in 1983 for the Non-Aligned Movement Summit in New Delhi. Other prominent visits include Transport Minister for the World Infrastructure Forum in 1986, Minister of Internal Affairs to attend the Second Asian Conference on disaster Risk Reduction in New Delhi from November 7-8, 2007. 

A five member delegation led by Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs, Smt. Preneet Kaur, visited Vanuatu in August 2010 to participate in the Post Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Dialogue meeting held at Port Vila. 

Vanuatu has been generally supportive of India’s position in the international fora. 

Commercial relations 

Vanuatu has a small economy and is heavily dependent on aid. Bilateral trade is negligible. Bilateral trade during 2010-11 stood at US$ 2.43 million. Asian Paints have set up a paint factory in Vanuatu and is successfully marketing its products there. Tatas have exported some ‘Sierra’ vehicles. 

India has been offering 15 training slots each year under the Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme to Vanuatu. As part of Government of India’s Regional Assistance Initiatives for Pacific Island countries, grants-in-aid totalling US$ 800,000 had been offered to Vanuatu for supply of equipment and materials for social programmes. Out of this, an amount of US$3,85,138.59 has been utilised by the Government of Vanuatu. Some more projects are under consideration. 

India has offered Duty Free Tariff Preference (DFTP) Scheme for LCDs to Vanuatu. Similarly, a Draft Agreement for Exchange of Information and Assistance in Collection with respect to Taxes (AEI & ACT) between India and Vanuatu is under consideration. 

Indian community

Around 100 Persons of Indian Origin are residing in Vanuatu. There are some Indian students and professionals working in hospital services. 

July 1, 2013