If I were? - Solomon Star News

If I were?

24 April 2015

Dear Editor – If I was contemplating going to the Solomon Islands as a visitor or a potential investor, today, what would I consider?

I have to confess that I am not a wholly unbiased or impartial correspondent on the question because of my past time spent in the Solomon Islands.  I do have, however, first-hand knowledge and experience of the diverse country.

In respect of visiting the Solomon Island I would say, honestly, why wait?

The country is beautiful beyond measure and a truly tropical paradise waiting to be discovered.

A country within easy and economical reach from most South East Asia destinations.  A rather length air journey from Europe or the USA but well worth the air fares if wanting to escape to warmer climes to be met with crystal clear waters, tropical beaches and blue sky.

The people are welcoming and friendly and the country can boast a feast of cultures, tradition and hospitality second to none.

The Democratic for Change Government in the Solomon Islands (DCC) has just had its major 2015 budget passed in Parliament and is now set to implement the many reforms programmes outlined in the budget, including the creation of economic zones, reforms in the health care system, education field and major infrastructure improvements across the length and breadth of the nation...

For any potential investors weighing up the risk is a prerequisite to investment, I understand, but the DCC Government's policies have clearly demonstrated that the potential risks will be small and the returns could be high, especially as a major policy initiative of the government is to introduce legislation to establish an Independent Anti- Corruption Commission with 12 months.

Yes, it is true that corruption in the Solomon Islands has blighted the perspective of some investors in the past but the potential for high returns for companies investing now could be quite beneficial as the country moves forward.

If the government’s plans to encourage foreign investors to set up shop in the country come into being, and I have little doubt that will happen, then new types of business incubators could soon follow if products take advantage of established technology and local resources.

There is no shortage of English speaking workers in the Solomon Islands eager and willing to gain gainful employment and who are determined to improve their own well-being but that of the sovereign country they are proud to call home.

Already there are 12 major international companies in the Solomon Islands looking into the potential of developing the nation’s rich mineral resources and, investors from China, have expressed keen interest in developing the country’s tourist potential with a possible upgrade of the international airport and road system into the national capital.

A Turkish based group of companies is already considering investing in canning and processing operations as a major development to boost the national economy and create job opportunities.

If you are still undecided, after reading this, then do not hesitate as the opportunities I have outlined are there for the taking in the Solomon Islands, if you act quickly.

Frank Short
Bangkok, Thailand