The National, Friday August 2nd, 2013
By GYNNIE KERO in Honiara
THE Solomon Islands government has hailed the visiting Papua New Guinea trade mission.
Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration Minister Elijah Doro Maula said yesterday the trade mission would improve bilateral relationship between the two countries and enhance the Melanesian Spearhead Group agreement on trade and investments.
“We are pleased to receive executive and officers of major business companies based in PNG exploring opportunities for investments in the Solomon Islands,” Maula said.
“PNG is listed among our top ten priority countries for investment and trade. Data from the Foreign Investment Division indicates that we have seen a steady increase in capital investment by PNG based companies here in the Solomon Islands compared to other Pacific Island forum countries since 2006,” he said.
He added that PNG companies in Solomon Islands had invested about SBD$148 million (K47 million) worth of capital in the country, thus providing employment to more than 3,500 Solomon islanders.
Muala said the level of investment by PNG based firms to the Solomon Islands had been increasing since 2008 generating employment opportunities for about 1000 Solomon Islanders.
“We are encouraged by the confidence that PNG based industries have in Solomon Islands by participating in the economic development of our nation. On that note I wish to acknowledge the presence of Guadalcanal Plans Plantations Oil Ltd (GPPOL), Bishop Brothers, Farmset Ltd, Lamana Hotel Development and Raibus Ltd establishing branches here in Solomon Islands,” he said.
“We are committed to working closely with your companies in facilitating the outcomes of this meeting… this is an ideal opportunity for us to strategically position and promote the Solomon Islands as potential destination for investment in light of the LNG project and PNG’s booming economy.”