Dear Editor – Promises are like the full moon, if they are not kept at once they diminish day by day. ~German Proverb
The Prime Minister, the Hon. Manasseh Sogavare was reported to have met with a visiting Taiwanese Minister, Dr.Chih-Wei Chiu last Friday in Honiara.
The Prime Minister is said to have outlined the government’s policy intentions to boost the economy, including the idea to create special economic zones in selected areas of the country carrying special incentives such as tax holidays and duty exemptions.
Dr. Chui apparently acknowledged the government’s proposed policy intentions to stimulate economic growth and reportedly said the Taiwanese Government could help the DCC Government with its investor-seeking endeavour by encouraging Taiwanese investors to invest in the Solomon Islands and provide technical assistance.
Some weeks ago when I wrote about trying to create jobs for locally unemployed people, especially the young , but before there was any talk of the possibility of free economic zones being a possibility, I mentioned the degree of Taiwanese investment in Thailand where I currently live.
It now seems an opportune time, given the talks between Prime Minister Sogavare and Dr. Chiu to mention, once again, a particular establishment managed by the Taiwanese in a free economic zone in the east of Bangkok.
I know the plant very well having visited it several times to help out with English training of some of the employees.
The plant employs about 10,000 local women on three shifts around the clock and production consists of manufacturing electrical switch gear and components of high quality, all of which are exported by taking advantage of the tax incentives which the free economic zone ensures.
Even if the Taiwanese Government (ROC) was to aid the Solomon Islands in a similar manner, imagine the difference it could make to creating employment and aid the economy.
I hope the DCC Government and the ROC Government will further pursue the ideas and objectives discussed last week and that positive development will be an outcome.
To be fair, I believe both parties have good intentions for the mutual benefit of the Solomon Islands and its people.