It’s a challenging year, says Hou - Solomon Star News

It’s a challenging year, says Hou

01 September 2014

SOLOMON Islands has faced real challenges in 2014, Finance and Treasury Minister Rick Hou has told Parliament.

He says the challenges had been the April Flash Floods in Honiara and parts of Guadalcanal Province, and the suspension of production at the Gold Ridge Mine on Central Guadalcanal by the Australian mining company, St Barbara following the floods.

And Mr Hou says both events have had negative impacts on the national economy. 

He says the floods not only claimed lives and displaced thousands, but they caused widespread destruction to the infrastructure, such as bridges and roads.

Mr Hou says the suspension of production of the Gold Ridge Mine has severe consequences for the government purse and general economy.

That being the case, he says the government had used most of its financial avenues to fund flood-related costs, adding at this juncture, the development partners, non-government organizations, business houses and individuals must be acknowledged for their generous support in one way or the other.

But Mr Hou says on a more positive note, the output of key agriculture export commodities such as copra, palm oil, virgin coconut oil and tuna has increased substantially over the first half of the year.

Mr Hou made these explanations in his 2014 Supplementary Budget speech in Parliament Wednesday.

– By George Atkin