23 August 2016
The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) welcomes the removal of the Port Congestion Fees (PCF) by NYK Bulk & Project Carriers Limited.
SICCI’s CEO Dennis Meone says the announcement is welcoming news to members and the wider business community as it shows confidence is returning to the national Ports operation - a key piece of infrastructure to the economy.
The PCF was introduced by shipping Line (carriers) to cover for costs incurred while waiting for berthing space at the port during recent periods of low productivity at Honiara Port in offloading and loading of containers, has had a negative impact on business.
However, recent improvements at Honiara port means that it is no longer necessary to apply the surcharge and NYK one of the shipping liners have taken the first step to remove their port congestion surcharge effective 24 August 2016.
The removal of the surcharge is a positive step in ensuring the business environment is conducive and encouraging for businesses to grow, invest and create more jobs in the local economy, states SICCI’s Chairman Jay Bartlett.
SICCI also calls on other shipping liners to follow the good example set by NYK in removing the congestion surcharge. Mr. Jay Bartlett says “the removal of surcharges by certain shipping lines we are seeing now is a reflection of the general improvement in productivity and efficiency compared to earlier in the year”. This improvement is a testament to the combined efforts by the Solomon Islands Government, SIPA Board, Management & Staff together with the recent opening of the new international wharf funded by JICA, stated Mr. Bartlett.
SICCI Chairman further welcomed the news saying that businesses thrive on a stable environment that is predictable, where businesses can forecast and make informed decisions for their businesses.
The removal of the surcharge is especially welcoming as businesses have certainty and can plan ahead knowing that no additional costs that will affect their operations. The business community looks forward to further reviews of SIPA Tariffs including the Gazette of SIEA Tariffs to further reduce high costs experienced by business and to see continued improvement in the Solomon Islands business landscape.
23 August 2016
The Credit & Data Bureau Limited strengthens its position with the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) after sponsoring their first SICCI Business After 5 (BA5) event.
Credit Bureau is one of SICCI’s newest member having joined the private sector’s peak representative body in April this year.
Dozens of SICCI members attended the networking event held at the King Solomon Hotel’s Bamboo Bar on Monday. The networking event allows members to meet, mingle, share information and better understand what other businesses are doing including exploring potential opportunities. The event also provides Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) members of SICCI to promote and inform other members about the services they offer.
The Credit and Data Bureau is a Papua New Guinean company established by a number of leading financial institutions and associated groups in 2008.
The bureau supplies its members with information that allows members to make informed credit and business decisions.
Credit Bureau’s principal business is the operation of a credit database where members can access the credit history and identify details of their customers, a platform that can help lending institutions reduce the risks of falling into an unpaid debt.
Currently the bureau has over 260,000 active consumer records worldwide with a record of K166 million (SBD$408.7 million) in debt recoveries
Credit & Data Bureau Managing Director, Bruce Mackinlay made a brief presentation on the occasion and talked about their establishment and the bureau’s services in the country.
He said the data company is closing the information gap between lenders and borrowers.
The bureau has some 7,000 consumer records from foundation members of the Solomon Islands branch. The bureau was formally established in Honiara on February 2015 with founding member institutions Bank South Pacific, ANZ, (then-transiting) Westpac, Credit Corporation and the Central Bank.
The Managing Director said founding members have recovered over $3 million since joining the Credit & Data Bureau at 600 credit checks per month.
The BA5 also gave the opportunity for presentations from SICCI member Pasifiki Services Ltd represented by Human Resource Manager, Sharon Naesol and Martyn Dominy from the National Government’s Ministry of Communications and Aviation.
25 May 2016
The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) is delighted to welcome the interim CEO of the Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA), Mr. Michael Wate. The appointment of Mr Wate is timely given the operations of SIPA directly affect many of SICCI’s member businesses.
In a brief meeting held yesterday, the Chairman of SICCI Mr. Jay Bartlett congratulated Mr. Wate on his appointment noting “Mr. Wate is a highly experienced figure who has strong leadership capability that will enable him to fulfil his duties as interim CEO. I have full confidence and trust in his ability and vision to lead SIPA.”
Similar sentiments were echoed by the newly appointed CEO for SICCI, Mr Dennis Meone, who further reiterated that SICCI continues to support reforms of the Ports and its focus on core activities aimed at improving efficiency and reducing costs to businesses. “SIPA plays an integral part in our trade links to the outside world and its core activities and operations are critical to businesses and the Solomon Islands economy” said Mr. Meone.
Mr. Wate reaffirmed SIPA’s commitment to improving operations and efficiency at the ports and willingness to work with SICCI and the business community, saying “as a State Owned Enterprise (SOE) responsible for ports services, SIPA will continue to make efforts to improve the services we offer and create an environment that is conducive to port users”.
Meanwhile it is important to note SIPA is still a member of SICCI. Recent media speculation that SIPA withdrew its membership from SICCI is baseless and untrue.
SICCI is an organisation of members with similar interests and is the peak representative body for the private sector business community. SICCI looks forward to working closely with the interim CEO, SIPA's Board and management to strongly support efforts to improve the efficiency of all ports in the Solomon Islands.
20 May 2016
Following recent media publicity casting doubt and questioning Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (SICCI) legality, the Chairman of SICCI has again reaffirmed that SICCI has not been in breach of any regulations. SICCI is an organisation of members with similar interests and is the Peak representative body for the private sector business community. Recent media attention had been unwarranted and was diverting attention from the real issues of the day, now that the dust has settled it is appropriate to set the records straight.
The Office of the Registrar General has confirmed that SICCI’s status as a trade union representing the private sector is legitimate. Deputy Registrar of Trade Unions Nixon Qurusu says, “SICCI is a registered organisation under the Trade Union Act and its status as a union has not been cancelled nor suspended as reported in the media. My office has looked into the matter and I am satisfied with the necessary documentation I have sighted, says Mr Qurusu’.
SICCI’s Chairman Jay Bartlett welcomes the news noting that “SICCI has always strived to do the right thing and follow proper procedures. Our records indicate we have submitted all relevant documentation to the Registrar of Trade Union and sentiments previously raised in the media are merely speculation and untrue.”
Mr Bartlett further stated that “as the peak representative body for private sector industry in Solomon Islands, SICCI’s board and management remains committed to work closely with the government and relevant stakeholders.” Following recent media publicity casting doubt and questioning Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (SICCI) legality, the Chairman of SICCI has again reaffirmed that SICCI has not been in breach of any regulations. SICCI is an organisation of members with similar interests and is the Peak representative body for the private sector business community. Recent media attention had been unwarranted and was diverting attention from the real issues of the day, now that the dust has settled it is appropriate to set the records straight.