SICCI Chairman, Jay Bartlett and Andrew Schloeffel from the Australian High Commission in Honiara, signing the SICCI grant agreement which translates to three years-worth of SICCI activities and support for core costs including some staff key positions to its private sector advocacy agenda.

Solomon Island Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) acknowledges the Australian Government for their continuous support towards the private sector in the country.

SICCI Board Chairman, Jay Bartlett made the acknowledgement after signing a SICCI grant funding agreement with the Australian Government through the Australian High Commission office in Honiara.

The new SICCI grant funding worth SBD5million translates to three years-worth of SICCI activities and support for core costs including some staff key positions to progress its private sector advocacy agenda.

“On behalf of the SICCI Board and our members I would like to thank the Australian Government, not only for your continuous support towards the Chamber but also your valuable support to other partners and organizations that promote growth in Solomon Islands’ economy and facilitate an enabling environment for investment,” Mr Bartlett said.

“The SICCI Board acknowledges the Australian Government’s preparedness to work with us to build our representative role for private sector. With previous funding signed in 2016, the Chamber convened events and meetings that provided networking and learning opportunities for members, and at the same time gave us opportunities to canvass members’ views to develop collective private sector positions.”

With the first Australian Government grant SICCI developed higher quality policy dialogue with the Solomon Islands Government on the state of the economy and domestic business environment.

SICCI worked hard in broadening its membership to capture the range of industries as well as small to medium sized businesses. The tranches were utilized for core funding towards strengthening the secretariat and for activities related to the Chamber’s advocacy agenda.

New SICCI Board member Ricky Fuoo testifies to the growth in SICCI brand and influence.

“The growth of SICCI membership to 250 member entities including over 30 province-based businesses resulted in both the increase in SICCI influence and convening power, as well as allowing a fuller national picture on issues businesses are facing.

“This growth aligns with my vision of seeing the Chamber become a true representative organisation for national development which was my platform at the March AGM which saw my election into the SICCI Board.

"I am excited to be able to contribute to this important mission as part of the 2019-2020 Board,” Mr Fuoo said.

SICCI Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ms Atenasi Ata noted SICCI projects of gender equality and of development of entrepreneurship that were also implemented in the timeframe of the Australian Government grant agreement.

“It makes sense that building young people as entrepreneurs and improving women’s experiences in the private sector were two parallel SICCI efforts as the longer-term cumulative impact on social and economic outcomes leads to a higher chance of realising our goal of a vibrant private sector that delivers jobs and economic growth in the country.”

Ms Ata said that this new funding will be used along with raised membership subscriptions and sponsorship packages to implement priorities identified in the new SICCI Strategic Plan 2019-2023.

"SICCI priorities in the new strategic plan were largely informed by the Private Sector Scan (2017) which collated business concerns," she said.

 “For the next five years, SICCI will continue its efforts to remove barriers to growth and improve the business environment.  And at the same time, we will deliver events that facilitate cross-learning, conduct trainings that build and improve the capacity of businesses to achieve their full potential.

“The new SICCI strategic plan, therefore, takes a long-term view of business-enabling concerns.

“Also, SICCI has come a long way in building itself as an organisation. There will be continued improvements to financial and human resource management of the Secretariat, as well as the attraction and retention of high-calibre individuals to deliver on the SICCI mandate,” he said.

SICCI Chair Mr Bartlett maintained that SICCI will carry out its policy engagement efforts consistently.

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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