Speaking during the Prime Minister’s Breakfast held at the Heritage Park Hotel yesterday morning, Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) chair Jay Bartlett’s said the country’s demographics continue to demand that government and the private sector must identify and accelerate new sources of growth and bring down unemployment.
He said that in order for the country to develop and progress, build buffers and resilience for disasters, the economy needs to grow, on average between 5-7% year on year.
“The recent mobilization of the youth empowerment program aimed to support and advocate young entrepreneurs in a small step in addressing a broader national issue and it is only though a partnership with a number of key ministries that we are able to do so,” Mr Bartlett’s said.
He added that 40 years of independence is a significant milestone in the country’s democracy that the nation will be celebrating but the nation must also look at development trajectory at this critical point in time.
He further said that that it is advantageous to both Government & Business that all must continue to have robust discussions on the nation’s state of affairs 40 years on.
“Successive Solomon Islands governments have recognised the important role the private sector has in supporting economic growth.”
However, government policies are not always consistent with stated government objectives, he added.
“Our actions now as the Government, private sector, and development people must support inclusive forms of growth.
“40 years on – we need to move past rhetoric, we need to turn our potential into realization.
“We need concrete actions to support the business community 40 years on my generation and the future generations need redirection not just as a theme for our Independence anniversary but because our future depends on it,” Bartlett’s said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Rick Hou applauded SICCI for taking this initiative – launching this inaugural “Prime Minister’s Breakfast Address”.
By ANDREW FANASIA