FROM YOUR CHAMBER

 

Trade Dispute Panel Information Session

SICCI welcomes opportunity for companies and industry to be involved in consultations currently underway in reviewing the country’s Trade Dispute Panel (TDP) Act. This was highlighted during an Information Session on the Trade Dispute Panel the Chamber hosted for members on Monday 29 June 2020. Read More

Access the presentation made by the TDP Chairlady here

 

SICCI Manufacturing Industry Working Group (IWG)

The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) recently established its Manufacturing Industry Working Group (MIWG). This group comprises of identified stakeholders from industry who will advocate on issues affecting our domestic industry and identify potential ways forward on key issues. Read More

 

Second Survey results: Cash flow, maintaining customers highlighted as main challenges

This is the second survey the Chamber has conducted on its members and the wider business community in its efforts to identify key challenges faced by businesses as a result of COVID-19 considering the important role that businesses play in creating jobs, in long-lasting economic growth, development and prosperity.

Read our articles on the survey results here

 

ADVOCACY DESK

The Secretariat continues to advocate on your behalf to the government on issues of interest. Currently, COVID-19 dominates discussions by Government and private sector. SICCI through its Advocacy Department ensures that important issues to the private sector is not put aside in these uncertain times. These includes: high utilities costs, ports charges, Trade issues, financial inclusions, regulations, infrastructure, anti-corruption, land and investment, access to finance, law and order, taxation, climate finance and most recently the COVID-19 Pandemic and its impacts on the business community.

 

New Platforms

SICCI has recently established two (2) subcommittees as arms of the Board in the Building and Construction and Manufacturing sectors. These are the Building and Construction Working Group and the Manufacturing Industry Working Group. The BCWG meets fortnightly and had its first meeting on 16 June and second meeting on 30 June 2020. This is similar for the Manufacturing Industry Working Group (MIWG) which had its first meeting on Friday 26 June 2020.

A detailed update from the SICCI Advocacy Department will be featured in the SICCI bi-monthly Newsletter, which will be published later this week. Watch out for our May/June 2020 edition.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

The SICCI Membership & Services Dept would like to flag for you some upcoming events and resources available for members.

 

Information Sessions

There are two Information Sessions planned for next week. The sessions will be on the following topics; Update from Honiara City Council and the Economic Stimulus Package. An Information Session with the Tax Commissioner will also take place this month. More details on these events will be sent out by Naomi so look out for communications from her department.

 

BA5s

BA5 spots are available. Please get in touch with Naomi on services@solomonchamber.com.sb should you wish to book a spot. 

 

BLP Support

SICCI recently signed on with Business Link Pacific (BLP), a private sector development programme funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT). BLP assists Small and Medium sized businesses across a range of sectors to access support from high quality, and approved network of business advisory service providers in the Solomon Islands. To find out more about how you can benefit from this program, contact services@solomonchamber.com.sb

 

Upcoming trainings

  1. The Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration will be conducting a training for Business Advisersthis month. An invitation will be sent out to members once details are finalised. 

 

  1. A training titled ‘Social Media Masterclass'will be hosted by SICCI in partnership with Pacific Trade Invest Australia. The date for this training is 4th August. Initially targeting export-ready or exporting businesses only, this is now expanded to the general membership. It will be conducted via Zoom and interested participants can register and access from their offices, or at a SICCI-managed conferencing facility. Please look out for our flyer announcing registrations to come out on 10th July. Our export industry department will coordinate this webinar training and Ronnie can be contacted on eido@solomonchamber.com.sb if you have questions on this.

 

  1. The Secretariat is working with the Ministry of Finance and Treasury for a session on SI Government Procurement Process. If you are interested please do contact Naomi on services@solomonchamber.com.sb. This training is planned for early September. 

 

  1. The flagship training for SICCI is the corporate governance training entitled Essentials of Directorship Programme with modules on Governance, Finance, Strategy and also Risk. If you are interested to attend this training, please indicate this to services@solomonchamber.com.sb by COB 24th July 2020.  The 2020 delivery will be dependent on locking in the minimum twenty-five (25) participants acknowledging the tough times firms and industry are currently going through.  

 

General alert: Jobs Fair

The annual SICCI Careers Market has been postponed, and in its place, we are discussing with tertiary institutions for an event to bring together employers with new/returned graduates. We will be reaching out to members to participate in this activity once a date is confirmed.

 

Resources and Webinar:

There are webinars resources available which we will send through when received. Recorded webinars are useful resources, however the opportunity to engage live with the presenter is lost if there are clarification needed on the talk/presentation etc. 

1. Recorded webinars

Click here to watch the full recording of the Investing in cloud-based Accounting software webinar. 

2. Upcoming webinar

Date: Thursday 9 July 2020

Time: 1pm-2pm Solomon Time

Link:  https://meet.google.com/rjb-gdrf-ytu

Navigating through the COVID-19 storm - hosted by Belinda Botha, owner/operator of SIDE Dive Munda in the Solomon Islands. 

 

EIDO DESK

SICCI through its Export Industry Development Department (EIDO) partnered with PHAMA Plus to facilitate a review meeting for the Market Access Working Groups (MAWG) on 1st June 2020. Fifteen (15) MAWG members participants attended the meeting including reps from DFAT, MFAT, RDP, IWGs, and Bio Security Reps. The aim is to Review the MAWG to officially call for an Expression of Interest for new MAWG members.

The review looked into MAWG’s operations in six (6) Pacific Islands since 2011 and the sustainability of MAWG and continuity. The review was conducted through a survey. The was 50% responses. 95% suggested that Solomon Islands should be reviewed and 65% say that MAWG must be reviewed on annual basis.

 

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS

We’re pleased to welcome new members who have joined the Chamber since February this year.

  • Unique Are Multi-Trading
  • Aswa Holdings Limited
  • Everise (SI) Limited
  • Faith Company Limited (Hot Bread Kitchen)
  • JJT Enterprises
  • LKP Hardware Limited
  • Mustard Seed (Investment) International
  • Reeves International
  • South Pacific Design Limited
  • Top Timber Company Ltd

 

PRIME MINISTER'S INDEPENDENCE ADDRESS

Copy of the nationwide address delivered by the Honourable Prime Minister on the occasion of the country’s 42nd Independence Anniversary is now accessible on the SICCI website. Click here

 

CBSI RELEASES 2019 FINANCIAL STABILITY REPORT

The Central Bank (CBSI) recently released the fourth edition of its Financial Stability Report (FSR) for the year 2019 as pursuant to section 31(4) of the CBSI Act 2012.

The FSR report provides insights into the performances of the country’s financial system as well as the vulnerabilities and risks faced by the financial sectors in Solomon Islands.

It also highlights the policy responses CBSI undertook across 2019 to maintain stability in the financial system.

Access the full Financial Stability Report (FSR) here

Read statement delivered by the Governor when releasing this report here

 

NATIONAL DISASTER COUNCIL (NDC) NATIONAL SITUATIONAL REPORT #10

The National Emergency Operational Centre (NEOC) on Sunday 5th July issues the National Situational Report #10 in response to COVID 19. Access full report here

 

GOVERNMENT NEWS

 

Border Security

Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare says Solomon Islands will not take the risk of easing travel and border restrictions until an unless we are certain that COVID-19 is no longer a threat.

In his weekly nationwide address on Friday 3rd July, asserted the Solomon Islands borders will remain close.

“We will only allow cargo flights and repatriation flights when deemed necessary,” he said.

Following a Points of Entry workshop coordinated and facilitated by the National Health Emergency Operation Centre recently, 50 front line workers have enhanced their knowledge and skills. This is to effectively coordinate and manage border operations as well as improve safety and workflow through harmonizing Points of Entry Standard Operating Procedure.

Repatriation

The Government is working closely with the respective Governments of Tonga and Samoa to repatriate some Solomon Islanders in these to countries. Updates from these planned flights will be released when necessary arrangements are done.

Over 200 repatriates who arrived last week have undergone thorough health screening by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and POE teams. Four repatriation flights were processed. The first arrived on Friday 26th June from Nauru with three passengers. The second on Monday 29th June, from New Zealand with nine passengers (diplomats) onboard the New Zealand Defence Force flight.

The third flight was on Tuesday 30th June and the fourth on Wednesday 1st July. From the flights, 13 were red flagged by front line health workers. One was transferred to Triage for sample collection and testing. The result returned negative. The other 12 were assessed by health front liner workers at the airport and allowed to continue on to the quarantine stations.

Stimulus Package

The deadline for provincial applications has been extended to Friday 24 July 2020.

Health Update

Last week, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services conducted two more in country COVID-19 tests on a mother and her child. The mother and child were in Bougainville to attend a funeral and returned to Gizo. Samples were immediately collected in Gizo after they showed flu like symptoms and were flown to Honiara for testing. Both test results returned negative. Both the mother and her child together with other family members who returned from the funeral are now under quarantine for 14 days. The Ministry of Health and Medical Services will continue to monitor their daily health status as per the standard operating procedures.

My good people, also this week, accessories for our COVID-19 testing machines, the qPCRs, have arrived which included, 1000 extraction kits procured by our Government and additional 300 of these kits donated by the Government of New Zealand. These are crucial to ensure that the machines can continue to perform their functions of detecting COVID-19.

This also includes 8000 level one gowns donated by New Zealand, 8800 medical lab supplies from the World Health Organization and over 2000 antiseptic soaps procured by the Government.

Ministry of Health and Medical Services now has a revised State of Emergency protocol highlighting the risk categories and the number of days required to perform COVID-19 testing. This is a positive step forward in our preparedness plans.

 

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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