SICCI Chair Jay Bartlett (right) and SICCI Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dennis Meone welcoming the Honorable Prime Minister Rick Hou upon arrival at the Heritage Park Hotel for the PM’s Breakfast event.

The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) on Wednesday 27th June 2018 successfully hosted one of the important events in its calendar, the Prime Minister’s Breakfast where Prime Minister Hon Rick Houenipwela directly engaged and formally address the private sector and members of the business community.

Made significant with the theme ‘Government and Business 40 years on’, the PM’s Breakfast attracted a good turn out from SICCI members, senior government officials, and the donor community who gathered at the Heritage Park Hotel for the now annual event.

SICCI the peak body representing private sector in the country, hosted and organized the Prime Minister’s Breakfast to give the opportunity for the Prime Minister to formally engage and address the business community on a range of topics from policy priorities, updates on key infrastructure developments to generic themes.

The event underpins the need for close collaboration and the important relationship between public and private sector.

In his key note address, the Prime Minister Houenipwela applauded SICCI for taking the initiative in organizing the forum which he says provides an important platform for the Government to share with the Chamber of Commerce its plans for development of our country and explore opportunities to enhance cooperation with the private sector. 

“As well it provides an excellent platform through which we can further cement our relationship.

“To that end, I reiterate that the Government appreciates the important role private sector plays as the main driver for sustainable economic growth in the Solomon Islands. The Government must therefore support private sector-led growth,” he said.

As the country prepares to celebrate its 40th Independence Anniversary, Prime Minister Houenipwela is confident the best 40 years are still ahead of us.

“The Chamber (SICCI) in partnership with the Government should be the way forward”

“I welcome constructive criticism, but I prefer engagement and I believe genuine stronger engagement and partnerships offer the best potential to make this happen”

“I know the Chamber is not only willing, but it is also the right partner to provide it,” he said.

SICCI Chair, Mr Jay Bartlett says it is advantageous for both Government and Business to continue to have robust discussions on our nations state of affairs 40 years on.

Mr Bartlett mentioned the Public Private Partnership (PPP) MoU signed between SICCI and the Government last year as the pathway for continuous discussions to alleviate difficulties and create the best possible environment to nurture private sector’s development.

“The MoU signed between the Government and SICCI creates an engagement platform and the PM’s Breakfast is an initiative of the Advisory committee to cultivate productive relationships with key decision makers as our relationship institutionally does remain underdeveloped. 

“This MoU implemented well, is a good example of robust discussion graduating from rhetoric to a structured process of dialogue that maybe used as reference for key business and policy imperatives in the important discussion of redirection,” he said.

“This framework will also allow us to integrate better with broader government processes – including the budget process,” the SICCI Chair added.

Mr Bartlett hopes to see an establishment of an annual business-government budget meeting where businesses can present government with their priorities early in the budget cycle. 

On the eve of the country’s 40th Independence, Mr Bartlett says it is a healthy sign of our nation and economy’s maturity that we as Government and Business are able to debate and better appreciate the challenges and opportunities we face as a nation. 

About the author

Philip Lilomo is the Chamber's Media & Communications Officer. Philip writes most of the Chamber's media releases. He also manages the website contents, designs the Chamber's monthly newsletter, brochures and maintains the organisation's visual branding. 

Philip can be contacted on email: media@solomonchamber.com.sb 

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