Honiara’s multi-million seaport expansion project is set to start after the signing of the exchange notes and grant agreement (EN/GA) yesterday in Honiara.
The project secures a total grant of ¥ 2,681,000,000.00 Japanese Yen (SBD$190 million) for its construction works by the Japanese government that will now begin.
This follows the signing of the projects design in January this year that has been finally approved by the Japanese Cabinet last month that secured SBD $190m for its construction.
The ceremony yesterday signaled the start of the project’s second term which is the construction phase.
Minister of foreign affairs and external trade Clay Forau expressed his government and the country’s appreciation to the Japanese government and its people for the great assistance.
“Japan has been our traditional partner since independence and this project manifests yet another milestone amongst other existing projects…I would like to convey to the government and people of Japan the sincere gratitude of the government and people of Solomon Islands,” minister Forau said.
He said with such a huge scale investment of expanding the Honiara international seaport and container yard,…Honiara port will become one of the much convenient seaports in the region.
Adding that maritime trade is a significant engine of growth and with the construction of this port, it will certainly an imperative apparatus for the socio-economic development of Solomon Islands.
“…this project will not only serve its purpose and the people of this country but will also be a land mark of Honiara,” Forau added.
He stressed that this project has aligned with NCRA government’s policy under the sector service to facilitate easier trade access to both domestic and to regional and international markets.
Adding accessibility and connectivity are two key elements of developments that can be alleviated by this project.
However minister Forau emphasized the need for full support and commitment from the two partners towards the successful implementation of this project.
“Be assured that the government of SI recognises the significance of this project and would like to firmly state that we are committed to support this project all the way,” Forau assured his Japanese counterpart.
Meanwhile Japanese Ambassador and Charge d’ Affairs to SI Mr Kenichi Kimiya commended those who have involved in the preparatory works on both sides of the countries since 2005 in promoting the project to it realisation this year.
Mr Kimiya said the project will have a direct impact on the country’s development through enhanced connectivity with regional and the global economies.
“We are happy to be given a chance to cooperate with the government of Solomon Islands on such a strategic important project. Today’s signing ceremony marks the beginning of our new partnership. I believe if we stay in our close partnership, there will be no obstacles we cannot overcome. Lets unit ourselves to achieve the final goal,” Mr Kimiya said yesterday.
Construction work on this multi-million Honiara seaport expansion project is expected to complete by the latter half of 2016.
By Daniel Namosuaia