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International Monetary Fund

percent for the year ending September 2002. 4. On November 11, Parliament approved the International Banking Act, which aims to strengthen oversight of offshore banks. Under the act, which takes effect from January 1, 2003, offshore banks will be supervised by the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu. They will face significantly tighter prudential regulations (in line with onshore banks), including in the areas of capital requirements, data provision, and audit procedures. Offshore banks can apply for a one-year interim license effective from January 1. To continue to operate

International Monetary Fund

Representatives for the 2002 Consultation with Vanuatu Approved by Daniel Citrin and Shigeo Kashiwagi November 7, 2002 The 2002 Article IV consultation discussions were held in Port Vila during August 20-29. The staff team comprised David Cowen (head), Alexander Wolfson, and Jian Ming Ni (all APD). Vanuatu is on a 24-month cycle. The mission met with Minister of Finance and Economic Management Molisa, Reserve Bank of Vanuatu Governor Kausiama, and other senior government officials, and with representatives from the private sector and major donors. At the

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maintain healthy reserve levels. In this vein, they have requested technical assistance to examine further staff’s suggestions to improve reserves management. While the authorities are willing to consider deepening the interbank market through widening the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu’s trading band, they have reservations about disclosing details of the basket. Based on previous experience, they are concerned that disclosure might encourage destabilizing speculation on exchange rate movements. Financial sector issues A key focus of the authorities’ reform efforts has

International Monetary Fund
This 2002 Article IV Consultation highlights that despite frequent shocks and an uncertain policy environment in Vanuatu, macroeconomic stability has been maintained. Real GDP growth was 2½ percent in 2000 owing to an agriculture-led recovery. However, the economy contracted by 2 percent in 2001, owing to the effects of several major cyclones and a global downturn in agriculture and tourism. Inflation remained subdued, increasing from 2½ percent in 2000 to 3¾ percent in 2001. The current account surplus declined from 2 percent of GDP in 2000 to ¾ percent in 2001.
International Monetary Fund

.0 -21.5 -23.9 Net errors and omissions -7.4 1.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 Overall balance -5.3 -7.2 0.2 1.3 3.9 5.1 6.1 7.7 Financing 5.3 7.2 -0.2 -1.3 -3.9 -5.1 -6.1 -7.7 Change in net official reserves of the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu (-, increase) 5.3 1.2 -0.2 -1.3 -3.9 -5.1 -6.1 -7.7 Debt forgiveness 2/ 0.0 6.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 Memorandum items: Gross official reserves (in million U.S. dollars) 39.1 37.7 37.9 39.2 43.1 48

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mid-2001, the government instructed the Vanuatu Commodity Marketing Board (VCMB) to pay subsidies to copra farmers, which have been financed through direct advances from the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu (RBV). These payments have continued in 2002, which given the poor financial state of the VCMB have potential budget implications. Monetary policy has been generally restrained. Broad money grew by 6 percent in both 2000 and 2001, fueled by foreign currency deposits (FCDs) arising from a relatively strong current account. Exchange rate policy has also been generally

International Monetary Fund
Vanuatu has maintained macroeconomic stability, but real GDP growth slowed despite the receipt of considerable foreign assistance and the implementation of structural reforms under the Comprehensive Reform Program (CRP). A sharp increase in liquidity, a consequent bulge in consumption, and a rise in imports have affected Vanuatu's recent economic performance. Inflation, as measured by the consumer price index for the main urban centers, has remained moderate in recent years. The paper also discusses prices and population, financial sector, and external sector developments of Vanuatu.