The currency of Vanuatu. Currency code (VUV)
The Vatu is the official currency of Vanuatu. It was introduced in 1982 after independence, to replace the New Hebrides Franc at par. Vatu’s introduction also saw the end of the official circulation of the Australian Dollar in Vanuatu.
- Vanuatu’s economy is primarily agricultural; 80% of the population is involved in agricultural work.
- Other aspects of the economy include fishing, offshore financial services, and tourism (the last of which had 50,000 visitors in 2004).
- Tax revenues come mainly from import duties. Economic development is hindered by dependence on relatively few commodity exports, as well as the island's vulnerability to natural disasters and its distance from major markets.
- The government of Vanuatu has promised to tighten regulation of its offshore financial center, in response to foreign concerns.
- The island's main targets for growth are tourism and agriculture (particularly livestock farming). Vanuatu receives tourists and foreign aid mostly from Australia and New Zealand.
- In 1982 banknotes were introduced by the Central bank of Vanuatu in denominations of 100, 500, and 1,000 Vatu. 5000-vatu notes followed in 1989.
- In 1993, the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu took over issuing paper money and introduced notes for 500 and 1,000 Vatu.
- 200-vatu notes were introduced in 1995 and 10,000-vatu notes on July 28, 2010.
- Residents sometimes refer to a notional Dollar, equal to 100 Vatu, without specifying which country's currency they have in mind. This stems from the period of 1966–1973 when the New Hebrides Franc was pegged to the Australian Dollar at a rate of 100 Francs = 1 Dollar. Although no relationship currently exists, it simplifies thinking in the larger numbers that a low-value unit causes.