Vanuatu as a nearby country can benefit from Fiji growing economy which is an opportunity for Vanuatu to strengthen through its bilateral cooperation with Fiji. The spill over effect on its tourism, trade, labour mobility and investment will continue to impact Vanuatu’s economy.

Fiji trade between Vanuatu has seen tremendous increase since 2005 through the MSG trade agreement. However, Vanuatu exports to Fiji is very small which requires private sector and the government engagement in pursuing this opportunity. The merchandise trade between the two countries will see more imports from Fiji however this does not undermine Vanuatu’s potential on its comparative advantage on its niche market. There are few products such as beef, kava, coffee, coconut oil and nuts that is highly favourable for Fiji high end market that is yet to explore.

Investment opportunity in Fiji is a potential for Vanuatu and would require the mission and the Vanuatu investment promotion authority (VIPA) to profile potential niche sectors and its investment destination. One of the investment destiny that could be a target would be the second town of Vanuatu. The island has huge potential to expand on its developments because of its low cost of production, vast land mass and growing population. Fiji investment at the local market is growing its multi-business companies which may expand into the region as the business grows its brand and grow its production and services into the region including Vanuatu. Fiji investment in Vanuatu from 2010 – 2017 had established twenty-three (23) projects engaging in various business from distribution (Wholesale & Retail business) to Manufacturing and processing industries.

Tourism is an opportunity Vanuatu could also take advantage in terms of outbound operator business investing in Fiji connecting long haul tourists to Vanuatu, considering Fiji as its tourist destination while visiting Vanuatu on a short stay. The long haul tourism is a potential niche market for Vanuatu which could be explored further, already Vanuatu daily flights is an advantage connecting Fiji Airways long haul flights from Europe, Americas and Asia.

Labour mobility and movement of skilled ni-Vanuatu professionals, tradesmen and customer services employment is increasing in Fiji labour market. This is an advantage for Vanuatu not only to increase its consular services and revenue collection but also promoting such specific sectors of interest that the Fiji government is offering to Vanuatu complementing the Melanesian Spearhead Group skill movement scheme.

Vanuatu has the opportunity and advantage being a close neighbour and market and had seen tangible benefits on trade, tourism, investment and labour mobility as a result of Fiji development amplification that has ripple effect on Vanuatu’s economic development. A constructive approach in pursuing this opportunity that is yet to explore is an advantage for Vanuatu.