IN a move designed to tap into the huge Chinese market, businessmen in Honiara have set up a Solomon Islands Chinese Business Council (SCBC).
As Its first formal engagement, SCBC members paid a courtesy call on the Embassy in Honiara on Tuesday 9th November,
In a statement issued after the visit, SCBC Chairman Antonio Lee “sincerely thanked the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China His Excellency Li Ming for accepting the invitation to meet with the SCBC Executive Board …”
Mr Lee said he used the opportunity to introduce the vision and objectives of the newly-established Council to the Ambassador.
“His Excellency conveyed gratitude to the Executive Board for their courtesy visit, listened with keen interest and was pleased to know more about the SCBC.
“Ideas were exchanged between His Excellency and Mr. Lee on how to contribute towards the development of the Solomon Islands. China is a big market in which the Solomon Islands can tap into it. Both agree opportunities are there and should be made use of through cooperation to bring mutual benefit to our peoples,” Mr. Lee said.
“His Excellency commented that the first Chinese settlers arrived into the Solomon Islands over 100 years ago. The Chinese have settled well in the Solomon Islands and have contributed to the country’s economic development,” the statement said.
Mr. Lee said the SCBC can be a good bridge between the Solomon Islands and China for trade and investment opportunities, as the SCBC Executive Board is represented by both old and new Chinese with diversified backgrounds.
He said the Chinese have lived in harmony with the Solomon Islands and would like to contribute more and the SCBC is one way to do it.
According to Mr Lee, Ambassador Li encouraged the SCBC to continue the good work of the Chinese in the Solomon Islands, especially to strengthen cross cultural understandings and mutual respect between the Chinese and Solomon Islanders.
“The meeting went well and both sides look forward to working together in the coming future,” Mr. Lee said.
By Alfred Sasako