The Ministry of Commerce Industries Labour and Immigration (MCILI) has refuted a statement by the Parliamentary Opposition Group that they stood by their statement was only misleading the nation.
In a statement last week, the opposition group has called on the Office of the Prime Minister to listen.
“The Parliamentary Opposition Group has stood by its initial statement that the Malaysian Consortium had never met with relevant Ministries but instead went straight to the Prime Minister is only misleading.
“Responsible Ministry said the claim that relevant Ministries were not aware of the visit of the Malaysian businessmen was incorrect.”
But in response Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce George Kosui said, “The claim was not only incorrect, but also misleading the nation.
The truth is the group is not a consortium but only a team that consists of a Chairman, two CEOs & Manager of Malaysian Private Company who are exploring business opportunities in Solomon Islands.
“The Ministry of Commerce, Industries, Labour & Immigration (MCILI), the Government Agency responsible for foreign investment was fully aware of the team’s visit and their programs were facilitated by the Foreign Investment Division.”
The MCILI is not aware of the Senior Officer the Opposition claimed to have spoken to, Mr PS added.
“The team’s trip to Solomon Islands was made after they registered their interest with the Solomon Islands High Commissioner (SIHC) in Kuala Lumber, Malaysia for some times.
“ The SIHC had directed the group to contact the Foreign Investment Division (FID) of MCILI for information and advice. As a result of their interest to visit the Solomon Islands, the Foreign Investment Division (FID) has offered to assist with the organising and coordinating of their visits.
“As the body responsible for investment in Solomon Islands, the FID has undertaken its role to assist and organise their programs for their visits including contacting people and organisations to visit in Honiara.
“According to their official program, the group’s first meeting was with the Minister of MCILI. The Group then went on to meet CEO of Axiom, SINPF, SI Chamber of Commerce, Ministry of Mines and a final meeting with the Prime Minister.”
He added that the FID officials had successfully provided support for the group and their visit as interested investors was completed according to the scheduled programme.
“The investors returned to Malaysia in the first week of February 2016. In this case we have established protocols and there were no binding promises or commitments made by neither the visiting Malaysian Business team or the Solomon Islands Government.”
The MCILI said it wishes to kindly ask the Opposition Group to stop politicising investors who register interests to pursue investment in Solomon Islands.
“This kind of publicity does not help our effort to attract foreign Investment but will only scare away potential investors who might be interested to do business in Solomon Islands.”
By CHARLEY PIRINGI