Bilateral Relations » Japan's Economic Cooperation between Japan and the Republic of Vanuatu » Past Assistance Projects to Vanuatu» General Grant Aid and Grant Aid for Fisheries » Speech

 

Speech by H. E. Masashi Namekawa, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Vanuatu On the Occasion of the Signing and Exchange of Notes for the Project for Improvement of Port Vila Main Wharf

at 10:00 a.m, 28th January 2008, Port Villa, Republic of Vanuatu.

 

Good morning and a happy belated new year to you all.

I am profoundly pleased in representing the Government of Japan to formalise Japan’s Aid to the Republic of Vanuatu today. I am thankful to you all for your presence here to witness the signing and formalisation of the exchange of notes,
firstly, Japan’s Grant Aid to the Government of the Republic of Vanuatu for preparing a detail design required ahead of implementation of the project for improvement of Port Vila’s main wharf and secondly, Japan’s Non Project Grant Aid, to continue assisting Vanuatu in its economic structural adjustment efforts for growth and prosperity.

The rapid containerisation of port cargos all over the world has pressured the Government of Vanuatu to upgrade its cargo handling facilities at the main wharf where around 90 percent of Port Vila’s imports are handled. In addition, around 55 percent of total visitors come through tourist cruise vessels to Vanuatu through Port Vila’s main wharf. The present wharf facilities designed and brought into service in 1972 is not able to adequately respond to the increasing containerisation needs of Port Vila’s trade-links with the rest of the world and number of tourist cruise vessels calling in.

The Government of the Republic of Vanuatu in recent times have been facing financial difficulties in implementing necessary planned economic and structural reform program in key sectors to improve welfare of the people of Vanuatu. In addition, the rising costs of some imported fundamental items such as medicine have also affected the island nation.

In view of the need and importance of these two issues, the Government of the Republic of Vanuatu made a formal request to the Government of Japan to provide assistance.

In acknowledging the need for urgent rehabilitation of the main wharf in an effort to establish a safe and efficient operation of Port Vila, and whilst, promoting necessary structural reforms, Japan decided to provide assistance through its Grant Aid and Non Project Grant Aid Schemes respectively. These assistances are primarily targeted to develop Vanuatu’s present facilities to accommodate world maritime situation and enable the Government of the Republic of Vanuatu to continue the planned economic and structural reform program in key sectors to foster economic growth and development.

It is anticipated that, through transition to a modern and efficient port operations at Port Vila main wharf, the socio-economic structure through this project along with the Non Project Grant Aid would certainly enhance prospects for sustainable growth and development.

I am hopeful that these funding will be utilised wisely in developing a more vibrant economy for the people of Vanuatu.

I am also thankful to all those who are responsible for the realisation of this signing ceremony, in particular, the officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs, for their cooperation and assistance rendered to the Embassy and, the JICA Office. Japan recognises the value of such cooperation and is committed to working together in promoting Vanuatu’s economic growth and prosperity.

Finally, I look forward to the effective use of these valuable assistances and sincerely hope that timely preparation of detail design for the execution of the project for improvement of Port Vila’s main wharf, along with progressive implementation of planned economic reforms will serve to further strengthen mutual relations and friendship between the governments and people of Japan and the Republic of Vanuatu.

Thank you.

 

Bilateral Relations » Japan's Economic Cooperation between Japan and the Republic of Vanuatu » Past Assistance Projects to Vanuatu» General Grant Aid and Grant Aid for Fisheries