Vanuatu signs up to One Belt, One Road initiative

THE Vanuatu Government signed a number of the agreements with the Chinese Government in the lead-up to the APEC meeting in Papua New Guinea.

The signing took place in Port Vila on November 9 and was officially announced by the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, during his meeting with Vanuatu delegates at the margin of the APEC meeting in Port Moresby.

It covered four MOUs, two framework agreements and one protocol agreement.

The MOUs include: MOU on cooperation within the framework of ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative; MOU on Human Resource Development Cooperation; MOU on Promoting friendly exchange between Guangdong Province and Vanuatu; and MOU on establishing the Joint Economic and Trade Commission between Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vanuatu and Ministry of Commerce of China.

The two framework agreements include an Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation and the Framework Agreement on Concessional Loan.

The final MOU is the protocol on remitting partial debts of government of Vanuatu.

The two agreements that are yet to be signed are Fisheries Cooperation Agreement and Air Service Agreement between Vanuatu and China.

By signing up to the One Belt One Road Initiative framework with the Chinese Government Vanuatu reaffirms its commitment to work with the Chinese Government in the implementation of BRI as well as an undertaking to increase level of cooperation between the two countries on an on – going basis.

Xi told Prime Minister Salwai that in addition to the framework agreement on cooperation signed between the two governments China will also expand cooperation into areas such as tourism and climate change.

He said that China will encourage more Chinese tourists to visit Vanuatu and will support regional efforts to address climate change impact, encourage green low carbon and sustainable development.

Mr Salwai thanked the Chinese Government and acknowledged that this is another milestone achievement in the history of the bilateral relations between the two countries.

He said the new agreements have forged a strong strategic partnership featuring mutual respect and common development and heralded a new dynamic stage in relations of the two countries.