The National, Monday August 5th, 2013
THE Solomon Islands is a potential market for Papua New Guinean products despite the challenging climate there, Vitis Industries director Vikki Mossin.
She said this in Honiara after one-on-one trade talks with the members of the Solomon Islands private sector.
Mossin, along with husband Sergey, own Vitis, the local brewing company that uses Russian technology to produce fruit wine and alcoholic beverages in PNG.
She said the turnout at the trade exhibit in Honiara was satisfying as there was a lot of interest for Vitis products.
Many from the PNG private sector like Agara Engineering Ltd and Rabaul Consultancy and Management Services, First National Real Estate among others, managed to strike promising deals with SI counterparts, which are yet to be announced.
Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) chairman Tony Koraua said despite the business environment, a number of PNG companies in the country have overcome challenges of setting up sustainable businesses.
Minister for Trade Commerce and Industry Richard Maru urged the Solomon Islands government to speed up signing the double tax treaty to encourage potential investors to the country including PNG.
He said this during his bilateral meetings with Solomon Islands Government counterparts.
“If you do not provide double tax agreements, you don’t attract investors.
“Solomon Islands climate is risky … we (PNG) don’t worry about direct taxation, we care about employment. If you do not speed up, how would more PNG investors come in if you don’t speed up … investors always choose countries where there is double taxation.
“I acknowledge that trade is in PNG favour, with annual export from PNG reaching K40 million and imports from Solomon Islands now at only K4 million.
“But this could expand if we invest in developing trade between our countries.”
The Solomon Island government has admitted to be being slow on their part, adding the delay was to get clarification from technical advisors.