The government encourages all forms of foreign investment, especially if there is joint local participation. There are no major foreign ownership restrictions, and duty exemptions are available on application to the Ministry of Finance. In late 1999 Vanuatu's Department of Trade announced that, to be considered, all foreign investment proposals must be accompanied by US $38,000. This action was taken because of the high number of project proposals approved that have not been implemented. According to statistics published by UNCTAD, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Vanuatu was US $30.2 million in 1997, but dropped to US $20.4 million in 1998, and averaged US $20.275 for the three years following (1999 to 2001).