The Australian Government has approved the extension of its economic development program, Strongim Bisnis.
Strongim Bisnis was designed in 2017 as a six-year initiative of the Australian Government, to be delivered in two phases. The first phase, which ran for three years, finished in 2020. During phase one, Strongim Bisnis introduced market systems development (MSD) concepts and achieved many positive outcomes for local businesses that will be continued into phase two of the Program.
The extension allows Strongim Bisnis to move into its second phase of operations in 2021. Australian High Commission, Second Secretary Economics, Louisa Macdonald Hall, said “The Australian Government is pleased to announce the extension of Strongim Bisnis. This extension demonstrates the Australian Government’s commitment to the Solomon Islands’ economy, especially during COVID-19. It also recognises the positive impact that Strongim Bisnis has had for Solomon Islands businesses.”
In phase two, Strongim Bisnis will continue its current MSD support to Solomon Islands businesses in the tourism, cocoa and coconut sectors. It will also expand its operations to support businesses in four additional industry sectors, including horticulture, financial services, timber and waste management.
The four additional sectors have been chosen for their economic growth potential after significant research and consultation with stakeholders in each sector. As in the past, Strongim Bisnis looks forward to again working closely with government agencies, the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Access Program Plus, the Rural Development Program, and other donor programs.
During 2021, Strongim Bisnis will focus on working with partners and Solomon Islands’ businesses in the target sectors to increase businesses’ resilience to the financial impacts of COVID-19 and help businesses create jobs for Solomon Islanders across the country.
Strongim Bisnis is an Australian Government initiative that supports growth in target sectors with a strong focus on supporting women, youth and people with disability.