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Foreign Trade in Figures

Trade is essential to Vanuatu’s economy and represents around 69% of the country's GDP according to the World Bank’s collection of development indicators. The country is a member of WTO since 2012. The main exports are non-fillet frozen fish (74.1%), perfume plants (9.1%), fish fillets (4.9%), copra (4.3%), and molluscs (2.7%); whereas imports are led by refined petroleum (18.7%), passenger and cargo ships (5.0%), poultry meat (2.4%), broadcasting equipment (2.4%), and delivery trucks (2.3% - data OEC).

The country's main export partners in 2022 were Thailand (42%), Japan (27.1%), South Korea (6.9%), Philippines (6.3%), and China (4.9%); with imports coming chiefly from China (24.3%), Australia (14.8%), Malaysia (12.4%), New Zealand (8.7%), and Fiji (7.9%). Custom duties are relatively high since the country's income is mainly generated through import duties. High tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade have held back integration into the global marketplace, just as limited availability of funds, lack of adequate infrastructure and the long distances between the markets of the main islands create additional barriers to trade.

The archipelago imports more than it exports, which creates a structural trade deficit, a trend that has worsened since the economic slowdown and the damage caused by recent cyclones which Vanuatu still has to fully recover from. According to figures from the WTO, Vanuatu exported USD 61 million worth of goods in 2022 and imported USD 484 million (+12.9% and +42.7% year-on-year, respectively). The overall trade deficit was estimated at 38.9% of GDP in 2022 by the World Bank, up from 42.1% one year earlier.

Foreign Trade Indicators 20192020202120222023
Imports of Goods (million USD) 357301339349455
Exports of Goods (million USD) 5646546163
Imports of Services (million USD) 2181852252300
Exports of Services (million USD) 3268728780
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -9-778n/a
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 26-71-4270n/a
Trade Balance (million USD) -224-208-242n/an/a
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 99636070n/a
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 49475154n/a
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 5016915n/a

Source: WTO – World Trade Organisation ; World Bank - Latest available data.

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To go further, check out our service Import controls and Export Controls

To go further, check out our service Import-Export Flows


Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Latest Available Data

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List of tariffs and local taxes that apply to your product on our service Customs Duties


Trade Compliance

International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Useful Resources
Vanuatu Customs & Inland Revenue Website
National Organisation of Intellectual Property
The Vanuatu Financial Services Commission

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Latest Update: May 2024