Posted by : Posted on : 03-Sep-2019

3 September 2019

Solomon Islands: Encouraging news on USAID, business potential and new coconut products intended to improve village livelihoods.

Coming in a week when the Prime Minister and his Deputy met with a high level team from the US international development agency, USAID, in the country to conduct a scoping exercise which could lead to the US�s further commitment to support the Solomon Islands development aspirations, there have been reports of business investment potential and the launching of three new coconut products.

In a conference held in Sydney from 19 to 20 August 2019, the SICCI�s Chief Executive, Ms. Atenasi Ata, highlighted what the Solomon Islands has to offer in terms of potential for business investment.

The conference is convened by the Business Advantage International to promote broad-based economic growth in PNG to the international business community, showcasing a wide range of industry sectors right across PNG�s economy.

SICCI is represented by Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ms Atenasi Ata at the Conference.

Quoting an article in the Solomon Star newspaper, today, Tuesday, Ms Ata was reported having said:

�There are significant infrastructure projects in the Solomon Islands that are expected to boost economic activities including the Coral Sea Cable Project, Tina Hydro Project.

�In terms of creating an enabling environment for doing business, the Chamber enjoys robust discussions with Government on its advocacy efforts on matters like infrastructure, corruption, industry workforce and security.

�From 2017 the Chamber has enjoyed structured discussions with Government bodies through its advocacy platforms of the Advisory Group consisting of Prime Minister�s Office, Finance, Development Planning and Commerce; as well as the Executive Group with the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force,�

� These platforms are giving the Chamber a good entry point to progress issues on behalf of our 220-strong businesses. And when you compare our advocacy agenda to the Business Impediments as identified by Business Advantage�s 100 CEO Survey, it is obvious that there are commonalities. We talk as well to Government on infrastructure, utilities reliability and a skilled workforce.�

�Airport infrastructure improvement and upgrade on the road in Honiara going eastwards, funded by Japan, was completed last year with the new phase to continue to the international terminal and the area around it to increase capacity for flights.

�The Western Province now hosts two important air and sea ports

�In July the opening of Munda international airport impacts tourism around, as well as fisheries, forestry plantation and agriculture. The continuous upgrades with the Noro International Port is also key,�

�With the undersea cable project anticipated to commence at the end of this year, the country should see an upsurge in services sector and growth in the technology sector.

�In addition, in recent months the country fielded in-country consultations by the Government of Australia on its AUD2.5b infrastructure funding, as well as the MCC scoping for threshold programming.�

�For the Chamber, we are about working with Government to leverage the gains that partner support can help realise. The Chamber is determined to work with Government to realise its goal of a vibrant private sector that grows and jobs are created.�

In regard to the launching of new coconut products, KOKONUT Pacific Solomon Islands limited launched three of its new products last Thursday in Honiara.

They include Coconut Kefir, Coconut Yoghurt and Coconut Niubiks.

The new products were a joint project between the Kononut Pacific Solomon Islands Limited with Culture Wellness Limited from Australia.

It was funded by Australian Aid through the Australian Innovation exchange fund.

Speaking at the launching ceremony Kononut Pacific Managing Director Bob Pollard said the intention behind the products was to improve village livelihood across the Solomon Islands.

The Deputy Australian High commissioner, Sally Anne Vincent, has thanked Kononut Pacific Solomon Islands and Culture Wellness for the success in making the products which will have an impact on many lives by improving people�s health.

News sources � Solomon Star News.

Yours sincerely

Frank Short

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