Vanuatu is the slingshot-shaped chain of 83 islands located in the Pacific Ocean between Australia and New Zealand... and literally thousands of miles away from the world's political and economic problems!
A former joint British-French protectorate, Vanuatu became an independent Republic in 1980 and has since fiercely guarded its independence and sovereignty.
Vanuatu's name is derived from the word vanua ("land" or "home"), which occurs in several Austronesian languages and the word tu ("stand"). Together the two words indicate the independent status of the country.
Vanuatu is self-sufficient in many aspects, with most of its food produce being organic. Genetically modified foods are not allowed! Vanuatu is a free market economy with no personal income taxes.
The island nation has a unique bio-diversity including the most easily accessible active volcano in the world. Though Vanuatu is still underdeveloped, upmarket tourism is growing rapidly.
The capital city is Port Vila on the island of Efate. Albeit small in size and population (44,000), Port Vila boasts a well-developed banking and financial infrastructure with approximately seven banks serving the international financial industry and a range of highly professional lawyers, accountants, and financial consultants including big-name international firms.