The Charge d’Affaires of the Vanuatu Embassy in Beijing, China, Willie Toama has said the best way forward for Vanuatu to capitalise on China’s huge economic market opportunities is to increase the number of ni-Vanuatu students to learn to speak the Chinese language.
Currently the total number of ni-Vanuatu students studying in China is 18.
What the country has yet to do is to sign an agreement with China for ni-Vanuatu students to study in China.
“Yes we have students studying here in China now but we in Vanuatu have yet to sign the arrangement in black and white and this is what our Government has yet to complete,” he said.
The Charge d’Affaires said China’s economic growth is very, very strong and the Vanuatu Government wants its Embassy to move into a bigger office in order to be able to tap into the Chinese market.
He said the people of Vanuatu need China more than ever before because the world now knows how wealthy and generous China is. So many foreign offices have opened up in China in recent years to capitalise on what China has on offer. Toama said the offices are as many as at the United Nations itself in New York.
The challenge in front of him and his two Chinese assistants is that they need money to improve the new office. There are at least three rooms inside which need furniture and computers.
Asked how much money they need, he said Ambassador Willie Jimmy was in Vanuatu (two weeks ago) with a budget proposal of Vt30 million.
The Embassy has yet to have a diplomatic vehicle. The Charge d’Affaires said he has agreed for his personal car to be used temporarily by the Ambassador until such time an official vehicle is purchased. The Ambassador has a Chinese driver.