This year your executive is working hard on engaging with Solomon Islands Government, and other stakeholders inside and outside the Solomon Islands, in order to bring about positive and long overdue reform. We are focusing on issues like taxation, land reform, communications and infrastructure development to name a few. We see our role as a tremendously important one, a role of positive advocacy and of partnership.
Joining together in one voice that has the support of a wide range of industry specific sub-sectors provides SICCI, the National Private Sector Organisation (NPSO) with power and impact when pursuing pressing issues on behalf of our members. To this end, we are successfully encouraging new members to join the SICCI.
The SICCI regards the private sector as the engine of economic growth in Solomon Islands and actively encourages policies and actions conducive to strong, sustainable economic growth and free enterprise. The Chamber will remain politically neutral, impartial to political parties or groups, but concerned with specific policies affecting the private sector and general issues relating to transparent and accountable government.
The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (“SICCI”) is the peak representative organization for the private sector in Solomon Islands.
SICCI currently has over 75 members as well as a number of affiliations to other national private sector organizations, covering approximately 80% of the Solomon Islands private sector workforce. SICCI continues to be a strong advocate of private sector interests – for both small and large companies alike – and aims to work constructively with the government, the Solomon Islands community and international donor organizations.
SICCI is driven by its vision for the Solomon Islands, its own mission and the values which govern the way it goes about its work.
SICCI Executive Summary for July 2011
25 August 2011
SICCI Recruits New Programme Officer - Membership Services
The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry is pleased to announce the recruitment of Mr. Barnabas Henson as the new Program Officer (Membership Services).
Barnabas Henson joins the Chamber of Commerce having a broad range of experience in management roles, more extensively and recently as manager within the RAMSI Case Support Unit. Barnabas will be responsible for developing and implementing membership services for the benefit of Chamber members, working closely with the CEO and Board.
BMNZ Launches Mentoring Programme in Solomon Islands
The Pacific Business Mentors Programme (PBMP) has recently been launched in the Solomon Islands by Business Mentors New Zealand (BMNZ). The launch, which involved 2 business presentations by representatives of BMNZ and the selection of applications, took place at the Heritage Park Hotel on Tuesday 19 July 2011, with both presentations attracting 69 business owners in total.
The team of four (4) including Dr. Grahame Craig, Stewart Rowe, Ian Furlong and Ray Schofield were delighted to be here in the country to introduce and expand the Business Mentoring program. The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) has been designated the local Agent for Business Mentors New Zealand (BMNZ).
Pacific Leadership Programme to Fund Bunsiness Job Fair
The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) in collaboration with the Solomon Islands Women in Business Association (SIWIBA) intends to do a Job Fair in late September 2011. The event is supported by the Pacific Leadership Program (PLP) with the aim of promoting quality leadership within the labor environment.
The Business Job Fair is a strategy to fast track interaction between employers and job seekers. It is also an opportunity to promote the preferences of employers on employability. Companies will be contacted to showcase their interests and objectives to the public and interested business people.
SICCI will be meeting with Pacific Leadership Programme representative, Ms. Georgina Cope together with the Solomon Islands Women in Business Association to discuss the structure of the Business Job Fair Event.
20 Comapnies Selected for First Pacific Business Programme Roll-Out
Twenty (20) local businesses have been selected from a total of 50 applications to participate in the first round of the Pacific Business Mentors Programme in the Solomon Islands. The Programme, which is funded by NZAid envisions the development of Pacific Islands businesses through strategic mentoring programme facilitated by Business Mentors NZ (BMNZ), as driven through the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The selection criterion included (amongst others) established business, export potential, import substitution, having between 2 and 30 employees, possess revenue growth potential, motivation owner, profit growth potential and where the owner is a Solomon Islands national. The official list of successful applicants will be released shortly, in time for the first visit by BMNZ Mentors, which is expected around the week starting 14th August 2011.
Business Mentors Programme Selects Local Mentors
As part of the PBMP, 6 local business persons have been selected by BMNZ to be local business mentors. The mentors were chosen for their experience in business development and being business people in their own rights; but also for their ability to be volunteers, contributing their time towards helping other local business grow and develop.
The first induction training of local mentors was successfully conducted on Friday 22nd July at the Heritage Park, Hotel. The training was conducted by Dr. C. D. Craig, founder of BMNZ, assisted by Stuart Rowe, Pacific Support Manager of BMNZ and Barnabas Henson, SICCI Programme Officer.
The initial six selected local mentors are Mrs. Nancy Palmer, Mrs. Rose Isukana, Ms. Ethel Frances, Mr. Belani Tekulu, Mr. Justin Fuo’o and Mr. Francis Kairi. It is expected that by initially working on a counterpart relationship with the NZ mentors, the local mentors would enhance their capacities to be able to play a lead role in any future plans for a provincial roll-out of the programme.
SIEA and SIWA to Hold Business Presentation in August
A business presentation is planned for the first week of August 2011. Solomon Islands Electricity Authority (SIEA) and Solomon Islands Water Authority (SIWA) will co-host the event. The General Manager for SIEA, Mr. Norman Nicholls, and the General Manager for SIWA Richardson Austein will do a business presentation during the event.
The issue of water as well as electricity in the country has been a long-running concern to Solomon Islands communities, including the members of the Chamber of Commerce, who have now resolved to be more effective in supporting efforts to secure governmental and donor government support to reform policy and improve the services provided. The Chamber of Commerce believes that the opportunity to receive a presentation by SIWA and SIEA is important for businesses as it will enable us to understand the challenges as well as the way forward for these companies, but more importantly, the role that businesses can play in improving their services.
Taxation Sub-Committee to Meet With Authorities on eform
The Ministry of Finance and (MOFT), Inland Revenue Division (IRD) and Economic Reform Unit (ERU) will meet with SICCI to discuss taxation issues and to identify any developments with the tax reform agenda. At this stage, SICCI remains obscure about proposed reform changes. Hopefully the meeting next week will trigger SICCI to move towards tangible initiative such as a proposed Tax Workshop
Labor Law Reform Sub-Committee to Finalize Position Paper and Submit Proposal to SIG and Unions in August
The Labor Law Reform Position Paper has been in circulation for a month and the Board is satisfied that the proposals be submitted to the Government. The relevant subcommittee will therefore be called upon to deliberate on the paper and the next step is to lobby the government.
SICCI is keen to see the developments of that, given that the biggest step has already been taken during the workshop. The impetus to convince the government and balance the interests with the workers will be piloted by SICCI but will ultimately need the support and help of the tripartite parties.
Companies Urged to Help Facilitate Clean-Up Honiara Campaign for Pacific Aarts Festival in 2011
With the deadline for the Pacific Arts Festival approaching, the Pacific Arts Festival committee is calling on companies to be part of the preparation by participating in the clean-up campaign. The campaign is not limited to cleaning the streets but also doing a face-lift to the general appearance of the Capital City by refurbishing the public shops, repainting and landscaping. Time is of essence, and the best time to start is now.
Chamber Membership Slowly Increases
The Chamber continues to increase in registered members as it totals 100 registered members in 2011. At the conclusion of 2010 the Chamber of Commerce recorded around 88 registered members, with paid up fees. In 2011, nearly 20 new companies have registered, bringing the total to 100. Despite this, only a little under 65 percent of members have paid or renewed their membership for 2011, while almost 40 percent are still to do so. All unpaid members have been urged to urgently renew their membership.
SICCI Executive Summary for May/June 2011
20 June 2011
SICCI and IFC to develop Business and Investment Manual
In May 2011, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank organization, signed an MOU with the Chamber of Commerce for the development of a Business and Investment Manual. Under the MOU the IFC was to provide a consultant who was to assist SICCI develop the Manual. Ross Masika, a locally engaged consultant has already started on the Manual under the guidance of the CEO and Board. The Manual is not intended to cover information provided by other similar publications on the Solomon Islands, but is primarily intended to focus on the procedures involved in setting up a business in the Solomon Islands, from registration as foreign investor to processes related to clearing customs. A launch of the Manual is expected to take place in August 2011.
SICCI Meets with Stakeholders
SICCI Chairman, Vice-Chairman and CEO have in the last week been engaged in visits to a number of stakeholders to the private sector. Meetings were held with presidents of the Chinese Association, Small and Medium Enterprise Council as well as the Solomon Islands Water Authority and Honiara City Council. In the coming week, SICCI will continue to meet with other stakeholders namely the donor agencies in the Solomon Islands.
The aim of the visits is to touch base with stakeholders of the private sector, and to talk about issues that are relevant to them, obtain their views on the Chamber and also to explore ways in which the Chamber can better interact and engage with them. A report on the meetings will be distributed to Members.
SICCI Completes Workshop on Labor Law Reform
The Chamber of Commerce recently completed its Labor Law Reform Workshop, with a 2-day workshop from 1-2 June 2011. The Workshop was funded by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and was facilitated by Labor Law Lecturer, Anita Jowitt from the University of the South Pacific, School of Law in Vanuatu. The Workshop was attended by representatives of SICCI employers who had the opportunity to discuss issues as well as priorities for reform of the countries labor law. A draft Position Paper on SICCI’s views on Labor Law Reform has been developed and is awaiting finalization by Members before it will be formally presented to the Minister of Commerce for his further consideration.
SICCI secures Agent of Business Mentors NZ
SICCI has recently secured itself as Agent of the Business Mentors NZ Programme, an NZAid funded programme that aims to provide mentorship services and support to Solomon Islands businesses. The Business Mentors NZ (BMNZ) programme seeks to support the growth and development of businesses through the engagement of NZ business mentors to companies. This initiative was initially designed to support NZ SME’s. Very recently however, a BMNZ Pacific was set up as an extension of the programme to Pacific Island Countries. Since 2010 BMNZ has worked in Cook Islands, Tonga and Samoa (First Phase) and now in 2011 the programme intends to extend its rollout into other countries including the Vanuatu and Solomon Islands (Second Phase).
BMNZ operates by working with a local business organization as an Agent, and through the assistance of the Agent, applications by individual companies for business mentors will be received and processed. Successful companies will benefit from the services of business mentors who will travel to and from the country over a period of 12 months supporting the company in specific areas, mainly financial, administrative and marketing developments.
SICCI Consulted on Proposed National University of Solomon Islands
The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry may soon be considering the issue of an education and training tax to support the establishment of the National University of the Solomon Islands. In an explorative meeting with the visiting Vice-Chancellor of the Fiji National University, Dr. Garnesh Chandra and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Shedrach Fanega on Wednesday 15 June 2011, the Chamber of Commerce were asked of its view if such a tax was. Although the query was unofficial, the CEO of the Chamber of Commerce, Calvin Ziru informed Dr. Chandra that the issue of tax was an on-going concern to the business community, and that if ever this tax was officially proposed for consideration by the business community, the Chamber of Commerce would most definitely be looking at it, more so in light of other reforms where tax is an issue; the argument may be that if the business community were to consider an education and training tax, the government must be prepared to discuss the reduction of other provisions that affect the cost of doing businesses, including PAYE threshold and Annual Leave Passages
It is understood that following the explorative visit, Dr. Chandra will be supporting the development of a Cabinet paper on the proposed National University.
SICCI Business Presentation with Pacific Arts Festival
The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry will soon receive a business presentation by the 11th Pacific Arts Festival Committee, currently chaired by Sir George Lepping. The Business Presentation (which is a business after 5 event of SICCI) will update the business community on the progress made by the Pacific Arts Festival to date. The Event will be held on 30 June 2011 and hosted and sponsored by NFD.
A prosperous and skilled nation underpinned by sustainable economic growth, leading to better lives for our people.
To make the
Solomon Islands an internationally competitive place for business.