SICCI’s partnership with Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Program (PHAMA) resulted in the engagement of the Export Industry Development Officer (EIDO) to progress development of five Industry Working Groups (IWGs) into representative and sustainable industry bodies, and to progress relevant market access related activities to assist in export industry growth in Solomon Islands.

These are the Cocoa IWG, Coconut IWG, Horticulture IWG, Sawn Timber IWG (now Solomon Islands Timber Processors and Exporters Association) and Seafood IWG.

The fundamental aim of the IWGs is to encourage the development of public private partnerships (joint industry and government consultative groups) that could be bring stakeholders together to address market access issues.

Department Goals:

  1. To enhance the development of the Industry Working Groups (IWGs) into representative and sustainable industry bodies
  2. To promote export industry growth
  3. To progress relevant market access-related activities

Department Objectives:

  1. Improve existing market access arrangements by reducing barriers for sawn timber, cocoa, coconut and handicrafts products
  2. Maintain/Protect existing sawn timber and tuna market access by developing the capacity of industry to meet negotiated access protocols, and assisting with responses to breakdowns in trade
  3. Seek new market access for agricultural and horticultural products into new markets


To develop strong public-private partnerships between the Solomon Islands Government and the private sector export industry


To work with IWGs to address technical and regulatory aspects of market access by focusing on identified highest priority products and market access issues as identified by the IWGs’ strategic plans.

Table 1. Overview of the broad challenges and solutions shared by the IWGs.


Industry Challenges


Lack of Improved Access to Finances

-Provide financial trainings/workshops on access to finance to IWGs

-Liaise with Ministry of Commerce on Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSME) Loan Scheme

-Liaise with Ministry of Agriculture/RDP on partial funding scheme

Limited Market Information

-Provide weekly market updates and quarterly newsletters

-Targeted trainings/workshops

-Industry information workshops

-Trade Visits

-National Cocoa Week (annual event)

Poor Quality Assurance Measures

-Invest in a shared industry laboratory to cater for private sector quality issues

-Liaise with Commodities Export Marketing Authority (CEMA)

-Technical and Monitoring exchanges

-Bench-mark auditing of Compliance

-Improved Information sharing to support fish certification (Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing -IUU)

-Industry Trainings E.g. Fish Industry Training, Timber Drying Training, Cocoa Industry Training

-Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)

Crop Protection/Biosecurity Issues

-Liaise with Biosecurity Department, Ministry of Agriculture to eradicate/contain spread of pests e.g. Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle

-Provide awareness on threat

-Develop documentary specifically on handicraft products

Shortage of supply of agricultural products e.g. coconuts and cocoa beans

-Replantation of coconuts

-Introduction of high yielding crops

-Cocoa Genetic Stock Improvement

Poor Traceability Systems


Lack of Legality Verification and Certification

-Work with NEPCon Legal Certification Group, International Tropical Timber Group of Companies and Fairtrade

Alternative Technologies and Products Development

-Attend relevant international trainings/conferences

Poor Industry Regulation

-Influence relevant policy changes

Poor business environment

-Influence relevant policy changes

As the private sector umbrella body in Solomon Islands, SICCI can advocate for the interests of the export industry to the government and donor partners. In doing so, SICCI will contribute to the country’s economic growth – leading to better lives.


  1. Cocoa IWG
  2. Coconut IWG
  3. Horticulture IWG
  4. Sawn Timber IWG (Solomon Islands Timber Processors and Exporters Association)
  5. Seafood IWG