UPDATE ON STIMULUS PACKAGE
Government has announced a $309 million economic Stimulus Package to deal with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare made the announcement on Friday when delivering his weekly nationwide address.
There are four key components to the package. They include:
- Shock measures;
- Immediate recovery measure one;
- Immediate recovery two;
- and medium to long-term measures.
Details of the proposal will be revealed during the official launching of the stimulus package early next week.
IN THE NEWS
Government conducts policy reprioritization exercise
Government has announced that all Ministries under the Resources and Productive Sectors has recently gone through policy reprioritization exercise. This is in response to the different measures taken by the Government in light of the COVID-19 pandemic currently affecting the world. These priority projects are those that will result in quick economic returns, have significant impact to the economy and create national employment. Read more
YECSI signs partnership with NZ
The Young Entrepreneurs Council Solomon Islands (YECSI) and the New Zealand Government were pleased to formalise a partnership to support the development of young Solomon Islanders in a signing ceremony last week. Read more
Meeting with concerned Shipping operators
SICCI through its Export Industry Development Department attended a meeting with concerned domestic shop operators on 22 March 2020.
On the meeting agenda was how the current COVID-19 situation is affecting individual companies and the group as a whole and what can be done in terms of Government’s Stimulus Package to support ship operators.
It was agreed that the domestic shipping industry has the potential and capacity to continue and maintain trade in major agriculture, forestry and fisheries products despite the current situation.
However, all ship operators are experiencing a 40 – 50% drop in trading and business and expect this to drop further, reduced revenue with continuing expenses and reduced production of copra, cocoa and therefore no back loading.
Shipping operators come up with a number of suggested interventions for the domestic shipping industry, including:
- Withhold/exempt or subsidise Government taxes related to domestic ship operators;
- Assist local vessels to slipways overseas;
- Ways Government can assist domestic shipping operators to allow businesses to continue;
- Strengthening support for rural economic activities;
- Ensure support for exporters;
- And support to ship operators for collection of commodities (e.g. SIG payment of $20 per bag of copra).
The group also appointed one member to represent them on the Market Access Working Group (MAWG) while discussions also based on how to revive or reinvigorate the Association of the Shipping Service providers formed after the PHAMA Plus supported Transport Symposium held in Honiara in 2019.
Expression of Interest (EOI) for businesses
SICCI this week sent out an Expression of Interest (EOI) notice for its member businesses who want to be part of the Building & Construction Working Group (BCIWG) and the Manufacturing Industry Working Group (MIWG). The purpose of these groups is to look into issues that are barriers and hindrance to growth to industry and building/construction in Solomon Islands. These WGs also look at ways to create a level playing field for companies involved in these sectors.
For more information contact our Advocacy Department on 39542 or email@example.com
CONSUMER PRICE INDEX (CIP): FEBRUARY - MARCH 2020
The National Statistics Office this week releases the National Consumer Price Index (CIP) for the months of February and March 2020. Full report here
Inflation up in February, but remain staple in March
The country’s inflation also known as the change in the National Consumer Price Index (NCPI) has rose +0.3 percent to 112.7 in February but remained stable at 112.7 in March 2020. That’s according to the Solomon Islands National Statistics Office (SINSO) latest NCPI statistical report. Read more
Chart shows National Consumer Price Index (CPI) percentage changes by CPI towns.
FOOD SAFETY JOINT OPERATIONS
As part of our ongoing preparedness against the COVID19 a joint Food Establishment Assessment is currently underway for all food outlets such as restaurants, snack bars and café’s including shops, food processing and water factories, and so forth.
The Ministry of Health through the food safety Unit, Environmental Health Division conducted a food safety assessment this week, as ongoing activities, and also part of the COVID 19 preparedness emergency response, within state of emergency zone. Read more