As Prime Minister and minister responsible for ICTs and telecommunication, it gives me great pleasure to speak to you this evening at the important TVL corporate event and to witness the official opening og TVL’s brand new flagship retail shop.
Firstly let me at the outset say thank you to the TVL CEO for the invitation extended to me as the official guest of honors and the government delegation who are here with me and a big congratulation to TVL for investing this brand new flagship shop and for successful hosting this important corporate event for all of us who are present here tonight. Felicitation!
TVL is the longest serving telecommunication company in Vanuatu having established here through its former parents companies in 1978 prior to the country’s independence and operating for more than 30 year prior to 2008 when the Vanuatu Government decided to open up the market for competition. Over the last 37 years TVL has become one of the largest corporate contributors to the current 94 % mobile coverage, which is now recognized as one of the leading mobile coverage in the region.
I am pleased to inform you all that TVL including Digicel have both committed to the government’s Universal Access Policy (UAP) objective of reaching 98% population coverage by January 2018. This is indeed a significant commitment and Government of Vanuatu recognized this commitment and will continue to support TVL, Digicel and other telecom Operator s who have demonstrated their commitment to Government’s UAP Policy.
Distinguished guest, ladies and Gentlemen, the Vanuatu Government, both present and past recognize the strategic Importance of ICTs and Telecommunication and the major role it play in contributing to the social and economic development of our country and its citizens. Various achievements in the sector since 2008 has demonstrated clearly our ongoing commitments and Government’s political will toward supporting the growth and development of the this exciting industry. These achievements include:
1. Successful liberalization of the telecom market which has significantly contributed to 94% coverage, reduced price significantly and offer more value added services for consumers both business and individuals,
2. Successful negotiation and securing of seed funding, working with private industry players to secure and roll-out the first ever submarine cable connectivity to Vanuatu,
3. Establishment of the only truly independent and capable Telecoms Regulator (TRR) which has now become a role model Regulator for the Pacific Region,
4. Development and implantation of 3 major policies
· National ICT Policy (UPA)
· Universal Access Policy (UPA)
· Cyber-Security Policy
All these successes among others not mention tonight are a result of a multi-stakeholder approach between the Government, Private sector, and civil society which puts Vanuatu as one of the best in the Pacific to invest in ICTs. Our target always is to be the leader in ICTs in Melanesian and the Pacific. We think we are well on the way to achieving this. We think that international ICT for a need more input from Pacific island nations, and we are ready to step forward into that gap. Our success shows the commitment or the Government and Private sector working together to ensure we achieve our national vision of “Building a stable, sustainable and prosperous nation”
I want to thank TVL for its collaboration efforts to improve, promote, facilitate and provide telecommunication services through-out Vanuatu. TVL certainly plays a vital role. And TVL has helped guide Vanuatu in achieving our current successes. So, many thanks to TVL shareholders, the CEO and to all its hard working staff, some of whom are present with us here this evening.
While we meet this evening to celebrate TVL’s success in opening its flagship shop right here at this fantastic venue, Tana Russet Plaza, let us continue to collaboratively work together to promote ICT as an enable of services and a tool that will transform the lives of Distinguished Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen, let me size the opportunity during this auspicious occasion to thank the former shareholder of TVL, Mauritius Telecom, for investing in Vanuatu between 2014 until now. I also extend my thank you to the new owner of TVL, Amalgamated telecom Holding (ATH) for the confidence in Vanuatu’s economy and commitment to continue to invest in TVL.
Distinguished Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen I hope you enjoy this evening and wish TVL and all of you success in your business endeavors!
One again bigfala congratulations to TVL on the opening of this flagship shop and thank you for hosting this successful event tonight.