November 8, 2019 Harold Ellis 0Comment

In the 70s, the proud people of Vanuatu declared their independence, freeing themselves from the yoke of colonialism of nothing more and nothing less than two nations: France and England. However, the independence of Vanuatu was truly unique, since the people kept their original indigenous systems intact, as well as the culture of the natives, which is called “Custom”.

At the risk of not doing justice to this complexly rich society, I would like to describe “custom” as a way of life, as well as a special interrelation between the land and the tribes of the region, both beyond the Western concepts of power and money. The Custom system enables the numerous tribes to continue living as they have for thousands of years, before the advent of the “anti” Western civilization, and in turn respects and preserves the relationship between Mother Earth and the members of the tribe. This means that the vast majority of the native population of the island lives in small community groups (very similar to the Kibbutz of Israel), where they grow their own food, produce their own meat, and exchange products under the guidance of a benevolent elected leader.

Vanuatu has its own bank, in which deposits can be made by tusks of pigs, an animal considered a symbol of wealth by the inhabitants of the region, and whose tusks have the value of a common currency. Unlike fiduciary money, boar tusks can not be printed and therefore maintain their value, thus facilitating the movement of capital between the islands, without unwanted disadvantages such as inflation, and without the need for taxation. Due to their customs and lifestyle, Vanuatu natives do not produce genetically modified food, do not experience the need to use fertilizers and pesticides, breathe fresh air and eat natural food, and are not forced to pay taxes on top of that. no one. Vanuatu is made up of more than eighty islands, which compete among them for their amazing natural beauties, their imposing volcanoes, their ancestral waterfalls, their abundant coral reefs, and their exuberant marine life.

The Custom system is contemplated in the Constitution of Vanuatu, which is based on the democratic principles of Westminster, and English legislation. But Vanuatu’s democracy has a peculiarity that makes it unique in the world. Being the population of the island so small, the rulers are all the time under the attentive scrutiny of the people.

Therefore the rulers change constantly, and in turn are constantly supervised by international judges, which are extremely difficult to influence, since they maintain their position for a limited period of time. In fact, recently, numerous members of the government were found guilty of accepting bribes from a judge. But the most surprising thing is not that the rulers accepted bribes (which were disguised as “political donations”), but that the judge was able to resist political pressure and threats of deportation, in order to dictate the sentence against corrupt officials.

Indeed, all governments have some corruption, but at least Vanuatu is not completely unpunished to legal surveys, and in fact, is required by the judiciary to be accountable if necessary. Cases like this, are counted on the fingers of the hand among the Western democracies.

All those readers who are familiar with the philosophy of Ayn Rand, perhaps agree with me in the opinion that Vanuatu is the closest paradise to Gaults Gulch that exists. This is due to a fortunate combination of different factors:

  1. Human rights supported by the constitution and included in it (as well as all the rights of the ICCPR).
  2. Board of leaders to turn to in case of needing protection.
  3. One of the purest atmospheres on the planet, together with free water and food, at least for now, of the plague of the 21st century (genetically modified products), which Monsanto considers the solution to the problems of hunger in the world.

Likewise, the main attraction of this paradisiacal territory is precisely the absence of those factors that “democracy” has taught us are essential for our well-being.

First of all, there is no personal tax in Vanuatu. In fact, the absence of this is almost a constitutional value backed by the entire population, who are firmly opposed to sharing with the government the profits produced by the sweat of their brow. At the same time, there are very few police forces, and surprisingly, an absolute absence of crimes, the latter because all people need to work to earn their bread (since they do not have any social security plan) and due to the peaceful nature of the natives, which is further enhanced by the consumption of a drink called Kava, which appeases and even neutralizes the instinct of violence inherent in the human being.

Vanuatu is a paradise without an army, without secret service agencies, without populist support plans, and what is more important, without an oppressive state that tries to mold and control society. Perhaps these are the reasons why Vanuatu has been chosen several times, the happiest place on earth. Perhaps the people of Vanuatu are the happiest, simply because they are one of the freest.

Vanuatu has been declared the happiest place in the world for more than 5 consecutive years

Obtain Vanuatu citizenship by investment program 

Vanuatu has recently updated its constitution, offering a Vanuatu citizenship by investment program. A group of Vanuatu citizens, together with international experts, are working to provide the territory with high-level education, and also for the development of the health system and its infrastructure.

To this end, a citizenship program was established through investments, called CIIP, which has the support of the entire nation and the council of leaders. The program offers immediate citizenship for the applicant’s entire family, along with a free access visa to more than eighty countries. The biggest advantage is, in my opinion, that the citizen of Vanuatu is not obliged to pay taxes for the income generated inside or outside the country, which means that, once the citizenship is obtained, in a few years, (or months, or weeks, depending on the income of each one), the investment will be recovered.

However, it is advisable to proceed with caution, because due to the success of the CIIP program, the government has tried to create other programs in partnership with other providers, which are currently under judicial investigation by the founders of CIIP. It is important to wait to see how these disputes are resolved, before deciding on any of the aforementioned programs. It is the opinion of the writer, that CIIP is currently the first and most legitimate citizenship program through investments.

Get the residence

The residence in Vanuatu is surprisingly easy to obtain. Any foreign individual who wishes to obtain residency only has to prove that he has an income, either from retirement or personal savings, and deposit an approximate amount of 50 thousand dollars in an account in Vanuatu. This program is mainly designed for retirees, however, it can easily be adapted to anyone wishing to apply for a residence in that territory, without age restriction.

Anyone who chooses Vanuatu as their first or second home, or who wishes to include the island in their contingency plan, will certainly not be disappointed. In addition, in Efate (Principal Island of Vanuatu), you can find numerous high-quality restaurants, more than five international banks (and some small Offshore banks), access to two international schools, and a small but very active expatriate population, which It has around 8 thousand people. As if this were not enough, for those who like outdoor adventures, Vanuatu offers some of the best areas for fishing, diving, and sailing, which can be found in the Asian Pacific.

Banking and Corporate Services

In the jurisdiction of Vanuatu, there are two types of entities, national and international companies. The latter is based on the IBA model as in most Offshore jurisdictions and therefore can only maintain business relationships internationally. These companies are extremely easy to found on the island and do not require accounts or local directors.

On the other hand, national companies are enabled to operate within the country, invest in real estate and undertake business both nationally and internationally. Companies of a national nature are much more flexible, but at the same time more difficult to establish. However, once founded, such companies contribute to the creation of links with local banks, thus facilitating the acquisition of loans and in turn favoring commercial relationships.

But the best news of all is that, due to the tax policy of Vanuatu, both national and international companies are exempt from income tax (although taxes are applied to certain internal transactions, such as income tax). ). Given that Vanuatu has not fully implemented any double taxation treaty (except with Australia), it can fairly be considered the perfect jurisdiction to deposit and safeguard funds, provided that the provenance of the same is satisfactorily proven.

Vanuatu jealously protects its banking industry from illegal capital. However, for that same reason, this jurisdiction is not the most convenient for trade, since the Vanuatu bank is moving away from more and more from Offshore banking, towards one of wealth management. The banks of this territory require investors a good reason to invest, such as the acquisition of real estate, or the investment of family assets. Whatever the time it takes to establish a personal relationship with a bank in Vanuatu, it is time wisely invested, since the banks on the island do not have frozen funds, have never experienced collapses or had liquidity problems. In fact, I have not heard of any case of bank customers who have experienced problems in Vanuatu, with the exception of, sometimes, slow customer service.

Vanuatu is also an ideal jurisdiction to establish financial companies. An example of this is the guarantee license, which allows exchanging guarantees and acting as a broker of exchanges, and also making commercial exchanges in the marking of currencies. In Vanuatu, good regulation is combined with a sufficiently benevolent registration policy, which is also quite accessible and efficient. On the other hand, the establishment of more Onshore and Offshore banks is still possible, with competitive capital requirements, with the availability of appropriately trained personnel, and with convenient salary programs.

In summary, Vanuatu is geographically, politically and financially far from the imminent fiscal and social collapse of Europe and America, and is worthy of being considered as a secure banking jurisdiction (at least more secure) to safeguard the heritage or at least part of it.

However, Vanuatu should not be used at this stage as a fiduciary jurisdiction since the fiduciary law of this territory is based on English law, which entails some traps such as the so-called “sham trusts” and “statute of frauds”. Therefore, it is convenient to keep Vanuatu companies with trusts abroad, for example in the Cayman Islands, in Cook or in Belize.

Real Estate, Business, and Investments

Real estate in Vanuatu has affordable prices, you can get properties with sea view from 300 thousand Australian dollars, and real estate for businesses have an ROI (“return on investment”) of 8% exempt from taxes. There are no restrictions for foreign owners, however, the property laws are subject to ” leasehold ” rules, which are renewable every seventy-five years.

Taking into account the increase in the price of properties in front of the beach and real estate in island territories around the world, the Vanuatu market remains surprisingly accessible and unexplored. For example, a block of land overlooking the sea in high-level urbanization, ranging in Vanuatu between 100 thousand and 200 thousand Australian dollars, and sometimes even cheaper. On the contrary, in Australia, New Zealand, and even in Bali, a similar block of land is currently around 600,000 dollars and possibly more.

The government of Vanuatu also promotes investments via VIPA (Vanuatu Investment Promotion Authority), which enables foreigners to invest in projects, also to support and concession. In addition, taking into account that the economy of the region is still developing due to the scarce population, industries oriented to the export of organic products (livestock, fruits, coffee), fishing or tourism, could become extremely profitable due to lack of competition.

Also, the resort or other small businesses are also profitable, since the workforce in this island paradise is young and competent, and their average salaries are $ 2 per hour and up. The one who writes these lines can attest that some entrepreneurs in Vanuatu visit their business once a week to collect their paycheck without having to spend too much time or effort.

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