Vanuatu is looking for partners to trade with in the region as there is a significant quantity of its products that can access to overseas market. The country is also ready to import products from neighboring countries as it is the case for several years through MSG (Melanesia Spearhead Group) Trade Agreement being signed between Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanuatu.
Vanuatu has to strike a deal where there is a win-win situation. That was the reason behind the trip made from 11th to 18th January to New Caledonia by a high delegation for the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism.
Led by the Director General of the ministry, Roy Mickey Joy, the delegation was comprised of directors of departments operating under the ministry such as trade, industry, tourism and cooperatives.
The task that was to be executed by the delegation was to identify areas Vanuatu can exploit and those which would benefit the country. The delegation also explored the New Caledonian leading industries which can open their market in Vanuatu.
But the first contact the delegation had in Noumea was with the Director-General of South Pacific Community (SPC), Dr Colin Tukuitonga. SPC can be another facilitator in this kind of exchange between New Caledonia and Vanuatu.
At the end of one week consultation, the two friend countries will prepare formalities documents to be signed next months by the governments of the two countries.
It is not the first time Vanuatu is taking steps forward to deal with its products and to open its doors for New Caledonian products. In 2007, a high delegation had been to New Caledonia led by the then minister of Finance, Moana Carcasses. Comprised of many political supporters of Green Confederation, the delegation had visited some local factories in New Caledonia and had met with the government and the Province Sud.
No agreement had been sealed after this one week visit and no project has been realized as the result of this mission.