Call for Solomon Islands to monitor foreign investment

Business, Normal

The National, Wednesday 8th May 2013

 THE Solomon Islands need to strengthen its internal mechanism to closely monitor the flow of foreign investment into the country, a government official says. 

Speaking to the Solomon Star, the official said this was to ensure compliance and that investors were actually investing in the country and according to the areas of investment they applied for. 

As recently revealed by the director of foreign Investment in the ministry of commerce, industries, labour and immigration, he said there 

were a number of investors whose

applications had been approved but had not yet invested in the country.  

“A case in point was the case of Papua New Guinea where there are 51 approved investors in Solomon Islands but only 21 have actually invested in the country,” he said.

He said the foreign investment board needed to be reactivated to monitor which businesses were actively operating in the country.

Recently, the Solomon Islands held bilateral discussions with PNG on a proposed investment promotion protection agreement in Honiara last week. 

The IPPA provides for a mechanism for the promotion advancement and protection of each other’s investments in the others respective countries.

Deputy secretary in the ministry of foreign affairs and external trade and leader of the 

Solomon Islands delegation at the recent IPPA negotiations in Honiara Bernard Bata’anisia said at the negotiations that creating an 

environment conducive to investor confidence had been a high priority for the current and previous governments. 

And the growth in PNG investment in Solomon Islands is much welcomed. 

“Solomon Islands government cannot commit to protect investors that are idle and show minimal commitment to invest.” 

Bata’anisia added that Solomon Islands welcome this round of negotiations and see it a progressive step towards finalising an IPPA.