SOLOMON Islands’ advantage to capitalise its strategic 21st century is yet to be fully appreciated and capitalised such as opportunities to be a central hub in aviation trade and shipping.
Chairman of the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce (SICCI) Jay Bartlett uttered the statement when delivering his opening remarks of the two-day Australia-Solomon Islands Business Forum which started yesterday.
Mr Bartlett said the point needs to be illustrated as it very relatively easy to visit Solomon Islands and see the potholes and a lot of annoying mini buses and lack of facilities.
“But I believe this negative perception for such is of secure people’s perception of the deep underlying vision that we have for our country to be markedly better against this unfortunates.
“Solomon Islands is a new frontier relatively untapped and great success awaits those who have a time the same outlook as us,” he said.
He said economic activity arose for Solomon Islands today is largely positive, however economic growth has revised down to 2.5% in 2018 and may be further revised lower depending on large quarter performance.
“The national debt by international standard remains low and we are actually one of the lowest in the pacific as a grade based point.
“We also enjoy safe and secure environment with blessed and abundant natural resources. However, our taxable economic based remains sustainably narrow with the main current contributor being the primary industry,” he added.
Bartlett said Solomon Islands is yet to be successful in diversifying its economy which remain vulnerable to external shops and the global markets.
“Risk of uncontrollable in fluctuation and commodity price does leave us in precarious position.
“This is a situation we are now experiencing, the cooling of commodity prices in the time of global uncertainty,” he added.
The SICCI chair said the space of the economic growth cannot unfortunately cater and will not efficiently provide to require services for its population.
“Stronger economic growth is now not ambition but an absolute necessary.
“This situation we found ourselves in is not an usual for small states with emerging economy such as ours, especially one that is geographically dispersed, socially diverse with an extremely fast growing population,” he said.
Bartlett said the current challenge today is to broaden the tax and economic base by focusing on policy on the key sectors and the country must boost its productivity through infrastructure and education investments.
By IAN M.KAUKUI