Less Stress Plus A Better Lifestyle - A Vanuatu Formula
Article in Island Spirit Magazine – Issue 85 – January – March 2019
By Tony Wilson
THERE are many reasons so many of us choose to call Vanuatu home. Some come for the laid back lifestyle, others the weather and some to simply enjoy the unique culture.
Vanuatu has long been heralded for its attractive taxation laws which allow for residents to not only enjoy the lifestyle but to do so knowing their investment is working for them.
The absence of income tax makes Vanuatu one of the few remaining low tax destinations for businesses, would-be businesses and individuals looking for new horizons, and it is right on Australia, New Zealand and Asia’s door step.
Law Partners, one of Vanuatu’s leading chartered accountants and business advisory groups is geared to helping take advantage of what Vanuatu has to offer, now and into the future.
“Today any business setting up in Vanuatu quickly realises that a no income tax scenario is not only attractive but actually gives that business a real advantage,’’ said Jonathan Law, a Law Partners principal.
“We have VAT in Vanuatu which is a far simpler and less stressful procedure.
“And of course, not having to spend hours collating and preparing paperwork for income tax returns means more time can be spent on building the business itself, which is also a valuable advantage.’’
Jonathan also explained that Vanuatu is the longest established off shore financial centre in the Pacific with a history of more than 35 years.
“Apart from no personal or corporate income taxes, Vanuatu does not have any capital gains or withholding tax, no estate or death duties and no exchange controls,’’ he said.
“So, in general terms there is far less regulation in Vanuatu across the board than you would see in Australia, New Zealand and other countries and frequently we are hearing of or meeting people who have left these countries because of over regulation.
All this added stress drops off your shoulders in Vanuatu as soon as you walk off the plane.
Law Partners is Vanuatu’s longest established internationally connected firm of chartered accountants, auditors and business advisors having commenced business in 1970.
They have a wealth of experience in dealing with both local and international businesses.
Jonathan said he believed that Vanuatu had recovered from Cyclone Pam which devastated the country in March 2015 and is poised for the next major wave of development. Many of the infrastructure projects are now completed or near completion.
“Next year we will see a new international runway operating in Port Vila and that will open a major tourism door to direct flights from Asia and the west coast of America,’’ he said.
“This should lead to a range of new businesses being needed in the tourism and related industries and we are talking about small businesses as well as major ones.
“So, there are opportunities now to start new businesses in Vanuatu and establish them before our tourism stocks increase.’’
The other Law Partners principal, Vicki Joe, said another major appeal of living in Vanuatu is its wonderful lifestyle.
“We have everything you can think of except there are still no traffic lights or parking meters in the country’’.
“We have many sports like tennis, golf, cricket, football and horse riding and it is easy to pack up a lunch and go with family and friends to a range of beaches.
“We have world class reefs, so snorkelling and diving are popular as are boating and fishing.
“The streets are safe and there is little crime compared to western countries.
“The meat, fish and fresh produce are all excellent and we have the best restaurants in the Pacific.
The ni Vanuatu people have been voted the friendliest in the world twice and the pace of life reminds you of living in Australia in the 1960s.
“We have top class French and English schools and this has to be one of the greatest places on earth to raise children.’’
Vicki said when you combine the financial benefits and the unsurpassed lifestyle, it makes Vanuatu the ideal proposition to do business.
ATH Takeover Official
Compiled by Glenda Willie
Yesterday marked a milestone for telecommunications in Vanuatu when Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Limited (ATH) officially took over Telecom Vanuatu Limited (TVL).
The ATH Group Of Companies comprises of ATH, Telecom Fiji Limited, Vodafone Fiji Limited, FINTEL, Fiji Directories Limited, ATH Kiribati Limited and Datec (Fiji) Limited and its subsidiary, Datec Australia Pty Limited.
The Fiji National Provident Fund is ATH's largest shareholder
Outgoing Chief Financial Officer from Mauritius Telecom, Mr. Rai Basgeet announced to the local media yesterday afternoon that the signature of the deed of Share and Purchase Agreement (SPA) on January 30, 2017 has completed proceedings regarding the sale of 100% share capital of the leading communications operator in Vanuatu, Telecom Vanuatu Limited (TVL) by MT International Ventures PCC (MTIC), an investment vehicle wholly owned by Mauritius Telecom, to Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Limited.
Basgeet highlighted in his speech that they are convinced ATH will bring TVL to new heights.
In his remarks, the new CEO of TVL, Mr. Divik Deo declared that the acquisition of Telecom Vanuatu Limited by Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Limited marks a new chapter for the future of telecommunications in Vanuatu.
“Our key focus will be to bring about improvements in telecommunications services and provide innovative and affordable services to the Government, the business community and, people of Vanuatu.
“We intend to improve connectivity which will pave the way for sustainable development by bridging the rural-urban and outer island telecommunications gaps.
Telecom Vanuatu Limited brand remains
“And by doing so we will be aligning ourselves to the economy goals and policy objectives of the Vanuatu 2030- The People’s Plan- to increase use of and access to information and communications technologies, including on-line government services.”
Mr. Deo added that it is also their intention to build the capacity of ni-Vanuatu people through training, knowledge and know-how transfer, upskilling and development.
“The idea is to transfer technical know - how, operations knowledge and expertise to our people so that we empower them.”
ATH says it is pleased to offer its expertise and know-how in telecommunication to create a more vibrant, competitive and robust mobile communications network across the region, according to Deo.
The new TVL CEO also confrmed that the TVL Brand will remain unchanged, concluding that “we are convinced that the TVL brand is a national brand and a national identity, thus, that is not going to change”.
In 2011, Mauritius Telecom purchased the shares in TVL in two steps- frst in October 2011 through the purchase of 50% share from CWC and second in July 2013 through the purchase of remaining 50% of share from FRC, now Orange.
Over the past five years, Mauritius Telecom through its investment vehicle MTIV PCC, there has been very positive changes towards the services of TVL such as Mobile, Broadband, Innovation, Services to communities, financial and employer of choice which saw TVL employing 158 staff, out of which only nine are expatriates.
The outgoing Chief Financial Offcer took the opportunity to thank the management and staff of TVL for their undue support over the past five years.
Words of appreciation were also extended to their advisors, Law Partners, Geoff Gee and Grant Thorton.
Mr. Deo, on the other hand also expressed words of acknowledgement to Mauritius Telecom for their huge effort in laying the foundation for telecommunications services in Vanuatu and also to the Government and regulatory bodies for their assistance in completion of this transaction between ATH and Mauritius Telecom.
VANUATU SURFING ASSOCIATION TANNA OUTREACH PROGRAM
Dear Jon and the team at Law Partners,
Following a successful outreach program in Tanna I want to thank you on behalf of The Vanuatu Surfing Association. Your support enabled us to run a comprehensive community surf program that encompassed topics such as environmental awareness, high performance surf coaching and ocean safety.
Please find attached a report outlining our impact in Tanna and an article from the Daily Post.
If you require any imagery, video or interviews to use as promotional material or would like us to assist you in any way please do not hesitate to get in touch!
The Vanuatu Surfing Association
Annual Wik Blong Vanuatu in New Caledonia
Each year Law Partners takes part in this showcase of Vanuatu, held in Noumea every November.
Getting results with your MYOB software?
Using MYOB and having trouble getting the information you require to operate your business effectively?
MYOB has a new range of exciting software releases which may fit your needs.
There is also an expanding list of 3rd party products developed for MYOB software which may be the answer to your problems.
Contact us by phone on 22091 or email LPMYOB@lawpartnersvanuatu.com to discuss your MYOB needs.
You may be surprised by the MYOB software solutions which are now available!
Calling all accountants: Law Partners are now an accredited training organisation
Law Partners is opening the door of opportunity for Ni-Vanuatu to become qualified accountants, right here in Port Vila.
The firm has received Accredited Training Organisation Status with the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants.
A committed local employer and investor in the education and advancement of ni- Vanuatu and other professional staff, Law Partners' encourages ni-Vanuatu staff to enroll in the Institute's Chartered Accountants program and currently several are studying for professional or other qualifications, which translates to the ongoing delivery of the highest standards of client service and technical expertise.
Vanuatu's longest established internationally connected financial services firm, whose core business is auditing and accounting has always recognised the value of ongoing training and professional development for staff and is enhancing this focus, under the guidance of Senior Partner Jonathan Law.
"Many businesses have slogans or mission statements that are great for advertising. We not only believe in ours, "Fit for Business", but we stand by it," affirms Jon Law.
Mr. Law has received Registered Mentor Status with the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants.
His role as mentor is to assist staff studying towards their professional qualifications to work more effectively, with greater competence and to enhance the practical experience component of their studies.