The prime minister said Solomon Islands will definitely welcome the importance valued by Washington to consider upgrading the US presence in the country.
“Solomon Islands and the US share a very mutual friendship and I believe much more can be initiated between both countries if this relationship is firmed up,” he said.
US Ambassador to Solomon Islands Catherine Ebert-Gray told the prime minister that the proposal to upgrade the US office in Honiara is currently under discussion.
Ambassador Ebert-Gray met with the Prime Minister yesterday at the Office of the Prime Minister & Cabinet.
She also informed the Prime Minister of the interest by World Leaders including US President Donald Trump’s consideration to meet with Pacific Island leaders at the upcoming APEC meeting in Port Moresby in November.
The US ambassador also informed the Prime Minister of the US Indo-Pacific Strategy and its commitment in maintaining a safe pacific region.
Mrs Ebert-Gray has also applauded the Prime Minister and his Government for its continuous support in empowering women and youths in the country.
The prime minister in response has admitted that the Government had over the years placed very less emphasis on women and youths in the country.
He said the Government is working on policy initiatives targeted at empowering women in business and leadership and also empowering youths on areas of employment and entrepreneurship.
“My Government efforts to date are to lay the foundation for the incoming government,” Mr Hou said.
The prime minister also highlighted the importance of reprioritising the tourism sector.
This was welcomed by the US ambassador highlighting the importance of tourism as a sector that is yet to be fully utilised in the Solomon Islands.