The National Trade Development Council (NTDC) yesterday endorsed Solomon Islands’ Trade Policy Framework at their first meeting of 2015.
The NTDC is the primary decision-making and advisory body on trade issues in Solomon Islands. It meets on a quarterly basis and is made up of representatives from the government, the private sector and civil society.
In a statement the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and external trade said, the framework endorsed by the NTDC lays out the main principles that will guide trade policy in Solomon Islands over the coming years.
“It puts in place guidelines to enhance the role of trade in the economy as a means of reducing poverty and raising the level of human development. The framework emphasises the need to build the productive capacity of the private sector in order to enable them to trade.”
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Hon. Milner Tozaka chaired the NTDC meeting.
In his opening statement Hon. Tozaka emphasised the critical role trade plays in the economy and the need to competently manage trade policy.
“I am confident that the Trade Policy Framework will guide us to reap the benefits and overcome the challenges of the international trading system.”
He also thanked the NTDC and commended them on the continued support and direction they have provided to trade initiatives in Solomon Islands.
The Trade Policy Framework was drafted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade over the past two years with support from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Dr. Chris Noonan and Dr. Daniel Gay.
It builds on contributions from stakeholders across Solomon Islands with consultations having been carried out in Honiara, Auki, Gizo, Noro, Buala and Lata.
At the meeting the NTDC was also provided with updates on the Enhanced Integrated Framework’s ongoing projects, and discussed trade-related development assistance with donor partners from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the World Bank and the European Union.