THE 10th Australia-Solomon Islands Business Forum started on Wednesday in Brisbane, Australia.
The two-day Forum, hosted by the Australia Pacific Islands Business Council in partnership with the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI), brings together senior Australian and Solomon Islands business and government representatives to hear and discuss information on current issues relating to doing business in the Solomon Islands.
SICCI Chair, Jay Bartlett and Gary Clifford, President of the Australia Pacific Islands Business Council welcomed delegates on Day One followed by keynote addresses from Prime Minister Rick Hou and a representative from the Australian Government.
Dr Luke Forau, Advisor to Governor’s Office, Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) also gave an overview of the economy of Solomon Islands yesterday.
SICCI CEO, Dennis Meone will today present to the Forum a progress report on how business and government are working together to building the pathway to sustainable economic growth in the Solomon Islands.
Mr Meone will be highlighting the significant Public Private Partnership (PPP) MoU signed between SICCI and the Solomon Islands Government.
“From SICCI’s perspective, job creation for Solomon Islanders is an important aspect of our work and we are looking forward to exploring more opportunities for business investment in the country,” Mr Meone said.
“There is a sense of desire for the country to realize its full potential across numerous sectors and this forum provides the opportunity for Australian businesses to tap into these sectors,” he added.
According to SICCI Board Chairman, Jay Bartlett, the private sector plays an important role in driving and growing the Solomon Islands’ economy, and as the peak body representing the private sector, SICCI strives to improve the ease of doing business in the Solomon Islands.
“We have publicly stated recently that Solomon Islands is ready for foreign direct investment, and as a chamber we are committed to work with potential and genuine investors,” Mr Bartlett said.
Today, the Forum will have sessions on Resources for national economic growth; Working for improved business, economic and social outcomes; Developing economic infrastructure (undersea cable); supporting young entrepreneurs and emerging leaders; Ports, roads, aviation, land utilisation; Opening up tourism opportunities in Western Province; and Solomon Islands’ access to the Australian Labour Market.
SICCI Chair and CEO are joined by other SICCI members and Solomon Islands government representatives at the Forum.
Government ministers who will present at the Forum today are Bradley Tovosia, Minister for Mines, Minerals and Rural Electrification and Jeremiah Manele, Minister of Development Planning and Aid Co-ordination.
In addition to providing key information about prospective business opportunities, the Forum brings together key business and government representatives from Australia and Solomon Islands and provides a unique opportunity for networking and exploring business opportunities.
Last year this event was held in Honiara and attracted over 150 participants.