Foreign Investors to Launch Stock Exchange and ‘Research Institute’ in Vanuatu
On Thursday, March 15, a group of foreign investors officially launched in front of the members of the Parliament of Vanuatu their new business initiatives, which according to them will help Vanuatu to develop its financial sector and IT-infrustructre in the digital age. The Deputy Prime Minister Joe Natuman and Minister of Finance and Economic Management, Gaetan Pikioune, attended the launching ceremony.
During the official event investors launched Vanuatu National Digital Currency Research Institute and presented Vanuatu National Digital Stock Exchange – a project to be launched in future.
Danny Deng, the President of Tai Group company, explained the Blockchain technology to the members of the Parliament.
Vanuatu welcomes investments of any kind: Natuman
The official ceremony was held at the Vanuatu Convention Center, and included speeches by the Deputy PM Natuman and Minister of Finance and Economic Management, Gaetan Pikioune.
On behalf of the Government Mr Natuman signed a formal agreement to establish the Vanuatu National Digital Currency Research Institute and highlighted the support of this project by the Government of Vanuatu.
“I would like to thank you and your colleagues for coming to Vanuatu and setting up these companies. We have invested a lot in the development of ICT in Vanuatu, infrastructure and connectivity. But we need companies like yours to use these facilities to achieve growth in the economy,” stated Natuman.
“The blockchain technology that you are talking about is a new type of technology, and a lot of us do not know what this is. But of course Vanuatu is a part of the global world, and we have to be up-to-date with what is happening in the world around us, and we welcome new technologies to do business in Vanuatu.
“Vanuatu welcomes investments of any kind with a goal to develop our economy, and I wish your company all the best,” Deputy Prime Minister said.
Gaetan Pikioune during his speech added that the Government would need additional consultations to be held by the investors with IT-specialists from the Ministry of Finance, the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu and other organizations to “fully understand the nature of this business and make sure it conforms with laws and requirements of Vanuatu.”
E-Nation concept for Vanuatu
“A number of world countries have been implementing the blockchain technology in the last several years. One of the countries we talk about a lot today in relation to the blockchain is Estonia, which defines itself as an ‘e-nation.’ They have leveraged the blockchain technology to create one of the most advanced digital societies in the world today. And we think that Vanuatu also can do it, that is why we are here today,” said Karim Berrada, Senior Business Development Manager of the CK Group.
“e-Nation is a term that has appeared a few years ago, when Estonia decided to move a number of processes to the digital network in order to simplify their structure, allowing the country to progress,” Karim Berrada added.
Investors explain the “Stock Exchange” and “Research Institute”
“Some people are wondering what the Vanuatu National Digital Currency Research Institute will do. I am the Chairman of China Blochchain Research Center. For the last two years I have been promoting blockchain technology in China. We have already educated 1000 blockchain professionals, and they are all doing well in different areas,” Danny Deng, the President of Tai Group, said in his speech.
“And you may ask – what is blockchain? Blockchain is a new technology, which breaks the central point into distributing nodes. Now we have a central government, a central point – a bank to held everyone’s money and to record all the transactions between us. But the blockchain technology breaks central point into many distributing points. And everyone can do business directly with each other.
“Small countries like Vanuatu are vulnerable to natural disasters. The implementation of the blockchain technology will allow such countries to keep their IT-infrastructure safe during such disasters. This is one of the purposes of this technology – it can make infrastructure very stable. Another point is that blockchain can connect us with the global economy. All major economies are moving forward towards blockchain.
“Every country wants to use the blockchain technology to accelerate the development. And I think that Vanuatu is a very important nation in the South Pacific. After we combine the blockchain with Vanuatu, in the future the world will know Vanuatu,” said Danny Deng.
52 laptops and 8.5 million vatu donation to the Government
As part of the presentation of this project, investors donated 52 laptops to the members of the Parliament of Vanuatu, together with the cheque for 8.5 million vatu as a donation to the Vanuatu Government.
Foreign investors said this donation will support technological development of the Government.
This is not the first attempt to bring these technologies, that suddenly became popular all over the world after the rapid growth of value of the popular “cryptocurrency” Bitcoin and a number of other copycat “currencies”, to Vanuatu. Other business projects in this field in Vanuatu received quite a controversial opinions, or even turned out to be a straightforward scam – in October 2017 the Government allowed fraudsters, operating under misleading Vanuatu Information Centre name, to spread a false announcement that Vanuatu started to accept Bitcoins for its citizenship around the world.
Back in January 2017 it was announced that founders of Lithuania-based «cryptocurrency bank» Bankera have acquired the Pacific Private Bank, operating in Vanuatu, from its owner Vilius Kavaliauskas. The acquisition of Vanuatu’s Pacific Private Bank allows Bankera, a small controversial startup with highly questionable future, to get an official banking license. According to financial experts, operations and transactions of the «cryptocurrency bank» Bankera under Pacific Private Bank’s license may potentially further compromise Vanuatu’s financial industry and the banking sector.
Cryptocurrency schemes in the Pacific
Meanwhile, some other countries in the Pacific are also trying to cash in on the cryptocurrencies financial bubble. Earlier in March the Republic of the Marshall Islands announced it plans to release its own cryptocurrency «to serve as an official legal tender».
The Marshall Islands’ digital coin, to be known as the Sovereign, will probably be issued this year, officials say. The government will arrange an initial coin offering and exchanges will be allowed to apply to trade the currency. The move is seen as a way to bolster local budgets.