15 February 2019
Technical skills training and investment needing to see more local manufacturing of quality made products for export
A couple of my more recent articles have focused on what I, and others, believe should be done to encourage the making, sale and marketing of more locally made products.
Some local entrepreneurs have already seized the opportunity and are producing quality products for export and employing Solomon Islands workers in the manufacturing process.
A case in point that I can refer to is a veneer factory, situated at Lungga in Guadalcanal Province.
This factory commenced operations in 2011 and now employs 300 local workers in the manufacture of quality veneer.
The veneer is exported to Taiwan and the Philippines and the sales of the wood products have helped to boost the national economy and provide a secure and reliable means of income for the factory employees.
It is my understanding that trials are currently underway at the factory to manufacture plywood in addition to the veneer products and production of plywood should commence later this year.
The Solomon Islands Government policy on ‘down streaming’ is that all logging companies in the country have to meet an 8% requirement for local sales from their logging operations.
The Lungga Factory operations and output meets that 8% target but how many other logging companies are complying with the government’s requirements but should?
The manufacture of veneer at the Lungga factory seems to be a fine example of business initiative aiding local employment, enterprise and the wider economy.
It is to be hoped that similar business enterprises will occur if technical training and finance can be made available once the new SIG assumes office.