Australian High Commissioner, HE Roderick Brazier (centre), SICCI CEO, Ms Atenasi Ata (right), Acting Director Foreign Investment Division, Ms Lynette Tuhanuku (second from right), some members of the visiting Australian delegation and senior officials from Solomon Water during the business breakfast event on Thursday 7th November at the Heritage Park Hotel.

The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) remains committed to realising interest for foreign direct investment and will work with potential investors who will genuinely contribute to the economic development of the country and create jobs for local Solomon Islanders.

This was reiterated at a Business Breakfast SICCI hosted on Thursday 7th November 2019 for a business delegation from Australia who are in the country looking at creating partnerships with local businesses.

The event featured presentations relating to doing business in the Solomon Islands.

The Australian delegation are companies who are currently in the country for briefings with Solomon Water regarding upcoming projects the State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) has in the pipeline.

SICCI Chairman, Jay Bartlett spoke briefly at the event to welcome the delegation before Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Atenasi Ata highlighted the work the Chamber does in representing the private sector and its advocacy efforts for a conducive business environment.

Australian High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands, HE Roderick Brazier also spoke at the event commending SICCI in engaging with the Australian delegation with opportunities to do business in Solomon Islands.

Andrew Schloeffel, Counsellor for Economics at the Australian High Commission, gave a presentation on Australia’s substantial contribution to infrastructure development in the Solomon Islands.

He also highlighted key infrastructure projects in planning and currently being finalised, that if implemented and completed will contribute to improving the environment for business in the country.

Lynette Tuhanuku, Acting Director of the Foreign Investment Division, Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration (MCILI) also made a presentation informing the visiting delegation about the ministry’s guiding legal framework, the procedures and permits potential investors would need to know about in order to do business in Solomon Islands.

“Job creation for Solomon Islands’ increasing youth population is of utmost importance when encouraging investment into the country,” SICCI Chairman, Mr Bartlett, said.

“If you’re thinking of investing in the Solomon Islands, it is important to be part of the business community, as such, you are welcomed to reach out to the local Chamber of Commerce as we are always willing to work with you,” the SICCI Chair told the visiting delegation.

Australian High Commissioner, HE Roderick Brazier, while acknowledging that private sector is the engine for growth believes Solomon Islands has a dynamic economy with ample opportunities for Australian businesses to invest.

“We want to see investors who bring high quality private sector development and that is what Australian businesses can do here in the Solomon Islands,” he said.

SICCI regards the MOU signed with Government in 2017, as central in its advocacy efforts and in realising high-quality private investors.

“Government is a key stakeholder and continuous collaboration and engagement is critical to working towards a conducive environment where the private sector can grow and jobs are created for the country’s rapidly growing population,” SICCI CEO, Ms Atenasi Ata, said.

“SICCI believes that real growth can happen by addressing some of fundamentals necessary to encourage investment and sustained growth. Namely transport and build infrastructure; fair and equitable taxation system; the unlocking of land; agriculture and tourism investments to broaden our economic base to support our growing population; and corruption as a hindrance to quality goods and services.”

She added: “The strength of the Chamber lies in its membership, not only in its numbers, but more so in what the numbers represent - a wealth of private entrepreneurial expertise in doing business in the country. Growing local content that is quality and efficient and at the same time value for money, is a long-term goal of the Chamber.”

The attendees heard of the many Solomon Islands Government and donor-partner funded large-scale infrastructure and private sector projects that are expected to stimulate further economic growth over the coming years including the Coral Sea Cable, Tina River Hydro project, phase 2 of the road upgrade in Honiara and the hosting of the 2023 Pacific Games.

The Australian delegation was also joined by business people from Fiji, and New Zealand as well as other local contractors.

SICCI members who were present represented different sectors including the banking sector; construction; industrial goods and services; infrastructure and utilities; logistics; manufacturing; printing; accounting and law firms; property and real estate; technology; telecommunications and wholesale and retail.

There were a total of approximately 80 people who attended the breakfast event.

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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