THE National Government need to fast track the implementation of the digital economy strategy as it is an area that can boost our country’s economy.
This was one of the points highlighted by the Governor of Central Bank of Solomon Islands, Dr. Luke Forau, at the launch of the CBSI 2022 Annual Report on Thursday.
Mr Forau told guests at the launching ceremony that while the growth prospects for the economy in 2023 has a positive outlook, this recovery is fragile mainly due to high global food and fuel prices and their pass-through into domestic inflation.
He said Solomon Islands current estimated average growth rate of 2.1 per cent is not enough to support our growing population, which is currently estimated to grow at 2.4 per cent.
He said the economy needs to grow at, at least, a minimum average rate of around 5 per cent in order to support the country’s growing population.
Therefore, he said Solomon Islands need to re-prioritize for economic recovery and sustainable growth and looking at the opportunities that are provided by the digital platforms, Solomon Islands need to take advantage and digitalise our economy.
“I would encourage to fast track the implementation of the digital economy strategy, which the government is currently working on.
“I am sure once this is implemented, it would improve a lot of efficiencies, and we should be able to provide things like e-commerce, e-education, e-health, e-money etc…etc…” Mr Forau said.
Other areas which the Governor said the country needs to re-prioritise its policies and focus on are agriculture and the support to the private sector and new investors.
Mr Forau said 85 per cent of the population dependent on agriculture for their daily lives and in 2022 agriculture represented 18 per cent of GDP and 18 per cent of exports.
“…implementing a more explicit and meaningful recovery package that finances volume production for example is the right direction forward.
“In this way, we ensure we have a resilient population that can cope with current and future economic shocks through increased economic productivity whilst at the macroeconomic level, strong export receipts that contribute towards our foreign reserves, which at the moment is mostly donor driven and is highly susceptible to risk,” Mr Forau said.
With regards to support for the private sector and new investors to invest and do business in the country, Mr Forau said it is important to improve the efficiency of our administration system and procurement practices through automation.
He said this will not only increase investment, but also advance innovation and increase job creation in the economy.
“As a simple example, promoting policies that facilitate ease of access to land registration for businesses, can increase investment, increase revenue and promote higher growth rates in the long run,” the Governor said.