Monday 5 December 2016
The Pacific Islands Trade & Investment (PTI) agency successfully met with exporters in Honiara in a bid to open up the New Zealand market to Solomon Islanders.
Twenty attendants from 15 export companies went through a day-long programme with PT&I that is spearheaded by the PT&I (NZ) Auckland branch with support from the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SICCI).
Ian Furlong, the trade development manager of PT&I (NZ) described the training a big success and one that has attracted very keen interest compared with the programme in other Pacific countries.
It is the first time for PT&I to engage the Solomon Islands in this programme and is among 10 Pacific island countries to undergo the training this year.
The PT&I team will travel to Port Vila, Vanuatu next.
“There was good attendance and the people were good. Our objective is to help exporters in their business and the training on Thursday was very positive,” said Furlong.
Furlong conducted the training with PT&I COO & Head of Investment, Manuel Valdez.
Participants were briefed on the New Zealand market, the requirements and finances needed as well as selling and buying options.
The programme also equipped participants on effective business planning methods and marketing skills needed.
“At present most (Solomon Islanders) aren’t exporting to the New Zealand market and part of this programme is to encourage this market.
“New Zealand is an ideal market for entrepreneurs in the Solomon Islands and from the training we’ve found that the participants are very interested and want to know more.”
Thursday’s training, however is just the first phase of six steps of the programme.
Some five or six companies of the 15 who attended will be selected to join a sales mission to New Zealand next year. From there the attending companies will learn more of the mission and will get the opportunity to meet buyers where they can build their own relationship.
The programme runs through a timeline until March 2017.
SICCI Business Analyst Charles Persson who joined the programme on Thursday described it as highly professional with a great two-way interaction making attendees think creatively about their products.
“This programme provides excellence skills and networks for businesses to grow and access new markets.”
SICCI acknowledges the importance of exports to the Solomon Islands economy and looks forward to the next stage.
Sunday 28 November 2016
The White Ribbon campaign for the first time involved local businesses in the Solomon Islands when marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in Honiara on Friday 25th November, 2016.
Businesses marched alongside supporters themed in white and orange from the Honiara City Council compound westward to the National Arts Gallery, Point Cruz.
Businesses participated in support of the “Safe Work Places” campaign – an initiative supported and jointly coordinated by the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SICCI) and International Finance Corporation (IFC) with support from the Australian Government.
This marks the start of the umbrella initiative called Empowering Women in the Private Sector in Solomon Islands – which will be driven by SICCI and IFC.
The initiative will work to close gender gaps by fostering respectful workplaces for both women and men, promoting women in leadership, facilitating the recruitment of women in non-traditional jobs, creating supportive networks for professional women and assisting businesses to support their employees who are affected by domestic violence.
Friday’s parade was led by the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, the police band, Honiara City Law Enforcement, RAMSI officers and involved a number of NGOs, Government ministries and local businesses.
Supporters marched at 8am from the Honiara City Council headquarter westward to the National Arts Gallery, Point Cruz where keynote speeches were made.
Businesses who pledged their support for the White Ribbon Day cause are:
· Solomon Islands National Provident Fund
· Our Telekom
· ANZ Bank
· Bank of South Pacific (BSP)
· Forum Fisheries Agencies (FFA)
· Solomon Breweries
· Tower Insurance
· AJ & G Blulms Ltd
· Nofokava Construction
· Australia Pacific Technical College (APTC)
· HKL Global Services Solomon Islands Ltd
· Skills for Economic Growth Program
Every year on November 25th the community at large supports the White Ribbon Day to mark the International Day to end violence against women.
Violence against women in Solomon Islands is a plague to the country’s economy and is a business case. High absenteeism of women affected by violence at home is also affecting local businesses.
Amongst other work the project will also support the initiating of a “professional women’s network” in the country to encourage women of high potential in the private sector.
Wednesday 23 November 2016
The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SICCI) congratulates the successful introduction of online registration for business applicants at the Business Registry.
The upgrade was launched on Tuesday, and comes with a new look of the Company Haus website which now caters to online applications for foreign investment licenses and business name registrations.
The launch was made possible by the joint efforts of the Ministry of Commerce, Industries, Labour & Immigration (MCILI) and the Asia Development Bank (ADB) with support from the Australian and New Zealand governments as co-financers of ADB’s Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI).
The online service is a huge boost and will save business applicants the usual time and travel constraints.
SICCI Chair Jay Bartlett says this achievement is a very important milestone for the growth and enhancement of the business sector.
Mr Bartlett applauded the online services’ accessible reach for sole traders or SMEs who wish to join the formal economy.
“We encourage our local men and women to explore this exciting new opportunity,” the Chair urged.
“As a chamber we are continuingly looking for ways to better support new and small businesses that can create employment and jobs for our future.”
Hunter Masuguria, the MCILI Acting Permanent Secretary, launched the website upgrade at a ceremony that was attended by the government and private sector representatives, members of the diplomatic corp including the Australian High Commissioner Andrew Byrne and New Zealand High Commissioner Time Breese.
Mr. Masuguria said an important part of the online services is the improvement of the Company Haus data base.
“Knowledge informs the government. And an informed government can better serve its people,” said Mr Masuguria.
“Over time, as it has already been for companies, the registry will become a complete database of domestic and foreign, small and large businesses.”
The new Company Haus website can be accessed on www.solomonbusinessregistry.gov.sb
Thursday 17 November 2016
Duddley Longamei got the media’s attention in 2015 when his story came out after winning the Business Excellence Awards’ (BEAs) Entrepreneur of the Year and the Business of the Year.
He was awarded for creating the opportunity for international exports of locally grown products kava, vanilla and coffee under his company Varivao Holdings Limited.
This year Longamei added local favourite cassava to his export baggage – exported frozen to the Australian market.
The innovation itself would’ve earned Varivao Holdings an award but the success that followed was much more deserving.
He was again named Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2016 BEAs held on 5th November at the Coral Sea Casino & Resort in Honiara.
Despite missing out for the top award Business of the Year also known as the Prime Minister’s Award, Longamei called his achievement at the BEAs this year “a big miracle” and giving tribute to “great hard work”.
“I felt so humbled and happy to receive this prestigious award from a highly recognised authority such as the business chamber [Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SICCI)],” said Longamei.
“Receiving this entrepreneur award for the second time is a big miracle to me.
“But I trust this had paid off the great hard work put with the passion for the people and for the country as a whole through participation in doing business in the domestic and international markets.”
Varivao Holdings continues to be committed in its business activities that operates domestically and internationally.
Mr Longamei is a pioneering businessman in the Solomon Islands to initiate the export of kava, vanilla and coffee in 2015 and this year expanded his operation to export cassava.
Varivao Holdings operates with a vision to link native produce and agricultural commodities that are commonly farmed by locals, into regional and international markets.
“Our country needs to do more exporting of our local products to help our national economy,” he urges.
His cassava products are exported in yellow and white fresh frozen to the Australian market. He says 2017 will be a great year for exporting cassava.
The expansion of Varivao Holdings has also created the opportunity for more employment – an initiative well applauded by SICCI’s biggest focus on creating economic growth and employment.
“The total staff working at the Vaivao factory and farms now stands at 48 employees,” Mr Longamei informed.
“I would also like to make my special thank you to all the kava farmers, coffee farmers, cassava farmers and vanilla farmers for our working together that has made good business this year. I mostly thank my very hard working managers, supervisors and workers for this year’s second round of success in receiving this award.”
Longamei extended his acknowledgement to the SICCI Staff and Board for successfully hosting the annual BEAs.
“I would also like to thank the Solomon Islands Government for their support to provide funding for the [Business Excellence Awards],” he added
Being a recipient of the BEAs has developed confidence for Longamei who describes the Awards as a driving force to move forward and enter new business opportunities.
“To me the BEAs is very important in ways of partnership with all stakeholders to find success.
“The business family under SICCI provides a very good network for me where I can find technical advice, good information, build my confidence around other local businesses and a great business network.
“I have had great support from the members, especially from financial institutions and others.”