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Vanuatu to quell New Caledonia kava imports row

Vanuatu government moves quickly to quell New Caledonia kava imports row

The Vanuatu government has moved swiftly to avoid any diplomatic row with New Caledonia in resolving demands of local kava importers.

The Daily Post reports that Prime Minister Ham Lini has given a commitment that the government will review the decision of the Vanuatu Commodities and Marketing Board.

Kava importers, who have been picketing outside the Vanuatu consulate in Noumea since last week, yesterday forced the closure of the office because it was not able to deal with their demands.

They want the Vanuatu Government to reverse a decision to set up an agent in Noumea to distribute kava and other Vanuatu exports in New Caledonia.

The VCMB had appointed an agent in Noumea, Maison du Vanuatu, to be the sole distributor of Vanuatu kava in New Caledonia.

The decision sparked immediate protests from local kava importers who claim that Maison du Vanuatu had taken away business from individual buyers.

The consulate office is expected to resume consular duties later this week….

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