ANY foreigner that marries a local woman can operate a business under his wife’s name as long as the business is registered under the wife and she is a signatory to the bank’s account.
That’s according to the Minister of Commerce, Labour, Industries and Immigration Fredrick Qologeto in parliament on Thursday.
This was during the answer and question session where Member of Parliament (MP) for West Are’Are John Maneniaru asked the question.
The MP said; “if a foreigner comes in and gets married to a local lady and the business is registered under the local women, she can run the business, thats my understanding.”
In response, Minister Qologeto said, thats correct. “Its true, any foreigner if married to a Solomon Islands lady can operate a business because she (wife) is from Solomon Islands.
“But the ministry is very careful. At least the business is registered under the wife and she is expected to be a signatory to withdraw money, to avoid the foreigner withdrawing the money which then goes out of the country.
“So the ministry is carefully monitoring the loop holes. If the wife is registering the business, she is expected to be a signatory,” she said.
East Honiara MP Douglas Ete also asked what changes have been made to the reserved list for indigenous people to do business in the country.
In response, the minister said, a number of amendments have been made to the reserve business list for the indigenous Solomon Islands in August 2020.
“There were some inclusion in agriculture and farming where foreigners must not farm to sell domestically. This is also applied in fisheries where they must fish but not to sell in town.
“The list has now increased from 14 to 21,” he said.
Minister Qologeto said the government is very cautious about the national law to ensure there is equal opportunity and to provide business for both locals and foreigners in the country.
Opposition Leader Matthew Wale said it’s important for the ministry to monitor business activities undertaken by foreigners in the country.
Minister Qologeto said his ministry is working on regulations to strictly monitor foreigners who are doing business in the country.
By MOFFAT MAMU