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Vanuatu Economy

    Economy—overview: 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. 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.

    GDP: purchasing power parity—$240 million (1997 est.)

    GDP—real growth rate: NA%

    GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$1,300 (1997 est.)

    GDP—composition by sector:
    agriculture: 23%
    industry: 13%
    services: 64% (1996)

    Population below poverty line: NA%

    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%

    Inflation rate (consumer prices): 2.2% (1997 est.)

    Labor force: NA

    Labor force—by occupation: agriculture 65%, services 32%, industry 3% (1995 est.)

    Unemployment rate: NA%

    Budget:
    revenues: $94.4 million
    expenditures: $99.8 million, including capital expenditures of $30.4 million (1996 est.)

    Industries: food and fish freezing, wood processing, meat canning

    Industrial production growth rate: 6.4% (1996 est.)

    Electricity—production: 30 million kWh (1996)

    Electricity—production by source:
    fossil fuel: 100%
    hydro: 0%
    nuclear: 0%
    other: 0% (1996)

    Electricity—consumption: 30 million kWh (1996)

    Electricity—exports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Electricity—imports: 0 kWh (1996)

    Agriculture—products: copra, coconuts, cocoa, coffee, taro, yams, coconuts, fruits, vegetables; fish, beef

    Exports: $30 million (f.o.b., 1996)

    Exports—commodities: copra, beef, cocoa, timber, coffee

    Exports—partners: Japan 28%, Spain 21%, Germany 14%, UK 7%, Cote d'Ivoire 7%, Australia, New Caledonia (1996 est.)

    Imports: $97 million (f.o.b., 1996)

    Imports—commodities: machines and vehicles, food and beverages, basic manufactures, raw materials and fuels, chemicals

    Imports—partners: Japan 47%, Australia 23%, Singapore 8%, New Zealand 6%, France 3%, Fiji (1996 est.)

    Debt—external: $63 million (1996 est.)

    Economic aid—recipient: $45.8 million (1995)

    Currency: 1 vatu (VT) = 100 centimes

    Exchange rates: vatu (VT) per US$1—129.66 (January 1999), 127.52 (1998), 115.87 (1997), 111.72 (1996), 112.11 (1995), 116.41 (1994)

    Fiscal year: calendar year

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