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A Private Island Situated In Port Vila, Iririki Island Resort, Vanuatu, Offers Guests A Quiet Sanctuary Far From The Ordinary. Free Of Skyscraper Office Blocks, This Sleepy Town Is Set Within A Magnificent Natural Harbor. The Resort Caters To Vacationing Couples Of All Ages.


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  The Republic of Vanuatu is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago is located some 1,750 km east of Australia, 500 km north-east of New Caledonia, west of Fiji and south of the Solomon Islands. It was named New Hebrides during its colonial period.

Main article: History of Vanuatu

Many of the islands of Vanuatu have been inhabited for thousands of years, the oldest evidence found dating to 2000 BC. In 1606, the Portuguese explorer Pedro Fernández de Quirós became the first European to reach the islands. Europeans began settling the islands in the late 18th century, after British explorer James Cook visited the islands on his second voyage.

In 1906, the French and British agreed to an Anglo-French Condominium on the New Hebrides, as the islands were then known. In the 1960s, the ni-Vanuatu people started to press for self-governance and later independence; full sovereignty was finally granted by both European nations on July 30, 1980.

During the 1990s, Vanuatu experienced political instability, which eventually resulted in a more decentralised government.

Vanuatu is considered by some to be one of the few remaining truly unspoilt island paradises.

Main article: Geography of Vanuatu

Vanuatu is not just one island. It is actually an 83-island archipelago, of which two — Matthew and Hunter — are also claimed by the French overseas department of New Caledonia. Of all the 83 islands, 14 have surface areas of more than 100 square kilometer, namely Espiritu Santo (3956 km²), Malakula (2041 km²), Éfaté (900 km²), Erromango (888 km²), Ambrym (678 km²), Tanna (555 km²), Pentecôte (491 km²), Épi (445 km²), Ambae or Aoba (402 km²), Vanua Lava (334 km²), Santa Maria (328 km²), Maéwo (304 km²), Malo (180 km²) and Anatom or Aneityum (159 km²). Most of the islands are mountainous and of volcanic origin, and have a tropical or sub-tropical climate. The nation's largest towns are the capital Port Vila, which is situated on Éfaté, and Luganville, on Espiritu Santo. The highest point in Vanuatu is Mount Tabwemasana, at 1879 m (6158 ft), also on the island of Espiritu Santo.

Main article: Economy of Vanuatu

The economy is based primarily on subsistence or small-scale agriculture, which provides a living for 65% of the population. Fishing, offshore financial services, and tourism (with about 50,000 visitors in 1997), are other mainstays of the economy. Mineral deposits are negligible; the country has no known petroleum deposits. A small light industry sector caters to the local market. Tax revenues come mainly from import duties and a 12.5 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on goods and services.

Economic development is hindered by dependence on relatively few commodity exports, vulnerability to natural disasters, and long distances from main markets and between constituent islands. A severe earthquake in November 1999, followed by a tsunami, caused extensive damage to the northern island of Pentecote, leaving thousands homeless. Another powerful earthquake in January 2002 caused extensive damage in the capital, Port-Vila, and surrounding areas, and also was followed by a tsunami.

GDP growth rose less than 3% on average in the 1990s. In response to foreign concerns, the government has promised to tighten regulation of its offshore financial center. In mid-2002, the government stepped up efforts to boost tourism. Australia and New Zealand are the main suppliers of Vanuatu's foreign aid.

Vanuatu is a tax haven that does not release account information to other governments and law enforcement agencies. In Vanuatu, there is no income tax, no withholding tax, no capital gains tax, no inheritance taxes, and no exchange controls. Companies, like Kazaa and WinMX, choose to incorporate in Vanuatu to avoid regulation and legal challenges.
The British and French who settled the New Hebrides in the 19th century, agreed in 1906 to an Anglo-French Condominium, which administered the islands until independence in 1980.
Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to Australia
Geographic coordinates:
16 00 S, 167 00 E
Map references:
total: 12,200 sq km
land: 12,200 sq km
note: includes more than 80 islands
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly larger than Connecticut
Land boundaries:
0 km
2,528 km
Maritime claims:
measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
continental shelf: 200 NM or to the edge of the continental margin
contiguous zone: 24 NM
tropical; moderated by southeast trade winds
mostly mountains of volcanic origin; narrow coastal plains
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Tabwemasana 1,877 m
Natural resources:
manganese, hardwood forests, fish
noun: Ni-Vanuatu (singular and plural)
adjective: Ni-Vanuatu
Ethnic groups:
indigenous Melanesian 98%, French, Vietnamese, Chinese, other Pacific Islanders
Presbyterian 36.7%, Anglican 15%, Roman Catholic 15%, indigenous beliefs 7.6%, Seventh-Day Adventist 6.2%, Church of Christ 3.8%, other 15.7% (including Jon Frum Cargo cult)
three official languages: English, French, pidgin (known as Bislama or Bichelama), plus more than 100 local languages
vatu (VUV)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
vatu per US dollar - 146.02 (December 2001), 145.31 (2001), 137.64 (2000), 129.08 (1999), 127.52 (1998), 115.87 (1997)
Internet country code:

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