The agreement was signed by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary of Culture and Tourism, Ministry of Finance & Treasury (MoFT) Permanent Secretary, and the DBSI Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the DBSI head office in Honiara.
Permanent Secretary of the MCT, Andrew Nihopara said the grant agreement by migrating the tourism support fund is a policy redirection of the current government.
Mr. Nihopara said through this, the ministry is taking a more commercial approach to tourism development. And through the re-establishment of DBSI, it creates the opportunity to redirect funds through the financial institution for development so that it can be managed through a loan or tourism support facility.
“This is going through a transition phase for a start; we provide what we call a guarantee tourism grant support scheme.
“Through the process we are hoping to again work with the bank to refine the process and then hopefully by next year, we should move into the lending portfolio of this facility,” Mr. Nihopara said.
He then thanked DBSI for the receptivity in accepting his team’s proposal to work on a tourism support facility that would be managed with the bank with the sum of two million dollars.
He added the grant agreement of tourism support fund is an ongoing process that will be continuously refining over the first year and hopefully by next year MCT would have a much more established tourism support facility with the bank.
Permanent Secretary of MoFT, McKinnie Dentana and Chairman of the Development Bank of Solomon Islands said as a Chairman of the bank, one of the resumption of the bank is to ensure the institution carry forward some of the important policy of the government.
“We want the government to promote some certain activity in our economy. The signing of the MOU is one of the achievement or fulfillment of that policy,” Mr. Dentana said.
He added this is a first arrangement of such and some more arrangement will to come in the near future.
Meanwhile CEO of DBSI, Tukana Borovo said this is the first time for such collaboration between the government and bank.
“One of DBSI strategies is to try and implement the government’s policies and programs based on the bank’s regulatory criteria,” Mr. Tukana said.
He said discussions with MCT staff has been very good and it is clear that while they are redirecting funds to the development bank, both agreed that the bank’s criteria will be followed.
Tukana explained in order to make sure customers comply; there are certain steps that both the ministry of tourism and the bank will do to make customers comply with their rules.
By ESTHER NURIA