It is a great honour that i am invited to attend this very special occasion of the unveiling of the VAN2017 Overprint logo on the new VT500 polymer note.
This is another Milestone occasion after the launch of the final VT500 polymer note on Tanna which I gathered was successfully carried out on the 27th of October 2017. As we all know the Reserve Bank has embarked on this project of the new family note and the coins series since 2008. This has culminated in a number of launching ceremonies witnessed and officiated by the Honourable Minister of Finance and more recently with and in the presence of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Vanuatu and the Deputy Prime Minister. The attendance and Participation of the government in all these ceremonies clearly shows the close cooperation and appreciation of the currency reform program that the Reserve Bank is spearheading .
As the Prime Minister of Vanuatu today, i am truly honoured to be invited to officiated the unveiling of the VAN2017 Overprint on the VT500 polymer note. This ceremony complete the launching of the new series, and; on behalf of the Government and the Republic of Vanuatu, I take this opportunity to congratulate the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu on the successful launch of the whole family series.
The note that will be unveiled today is a special edition note to commemorate the upcoming regional event-- the 2017 South Pacific Mini Games -- that will be hosted by Vanuatu from the 4th through the 15th of December 2017. This is a historical event for the country and I wish to acknowledge the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu in recognizing such a important national event in issuing a special limited eddition to mark this event. The Note feature the VAN2017 logo on the front of the new VT500 polymer note, as we will be witnessing in a few moment.
AS we unveil this special edition note today, this will add to Vanuatu's promotions of the South Pacific Mini Games that will be held in the country.
As Prime Minister, I wish to thank the Board and Management of the Reserve Banks of Vanuatu for the great initiative and acknowledge the contribution of this prestigious institution to our country's development.
I also wish to thank the VAN2017 CEO, Mr. Flint Flood, for accepting the Reserve Bank's proposal t feature the VAN2017 Game logo on the new Polymer banknote. I am sure everybody will be running to the Bank AMTs, shop and cash outlets throughout the country in the coming days to get their first issue and it is truly fitting that the nation celebrates the VAN2017 mini game with this special commemorative currency edition.
To conclude, I wish to digress a bit here to say that the cost printing money is one of central bank's high operational costs. I am informed by the Governor Athy that the currency reform exercise that took some 10 years over VT138 million just to meet the cost of the new Vatu coins. This is how much costly it is for the Reserve Bank to undertake this important responsibility.
In spite of this, I understand that the Board and the Management are fully aware of the Bank's financial position and have taken drastic measure over the last few year to address the situation. The years that followed up until today saw the Bank working hard to strengthen its financial position.
As the Head of Government, I am glad to hear that the Bank with support of the IMF and some developments partners have worked together to address and strengthen the reserve management role and the capital base of the Bank. This is critically important in supporting the Bank resource and financial performance in order to effectively carry out its roles and responsibilities.
It is therefore that I join others who have spoken in the past about our new currencies to urges as well as remind public at large to take good care of our money - Vatu currency. After all, the monies spent by the Bank to mint new coins or print new notes cost tis institution millions of Vatus.
With this, I now have the pleasure of inviting the Honourable Minister of Finance, Minister of Education, Minister of Youth and Sport, VAN2017 CEO Mr Clint Flood, and the Governor Athy to come join me to officially unveil this special edition note to commemorate the 2017 South Pacific Mini Games to be hosted here in Vanuatu.