Balance of trade deficit was $96m in June as COVID impacts felt

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Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has recently told the UN General Assembly that the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s economy has been significant that by mid-2021 the balance of trade deficit was around $96 million; $24 million higher than the previous month.

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Sogavare said this is a substantive amount for “our small economy.”

Sogavare stated that this negative outcome stemmed from a larger fall in exports by 13% against a marginal decline in imports by 1%.

“Restrictions on international travel into the country has also heavily impacted the tourism industry forcing tourism operators to drastically scale down their operations,” the PM, said.

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Sogavare adds: “To keep the economy afloat and build back better my government introduced immediate recovery measures. The creation of a government stimulus package has invested in the productive sectors, we have introduced ‘Umi Tugeda tourism” and drive a number of game changing national projects to support the economy and provide employment for our people as we try to stabilize our economy.”

He said the Pacific Labour Scheme Solomon Islands has with Australia, New Zealand and Canada has provided needed employment for many of its youths.

Sogavare said the partnership Solomon Islands has with Australia in particular has reached new heights for which “we are thankful.”

 “These opportunities as they put a human face to the relations we have with all our partners and has contributed to our economic recovery efforts,” he told the UNGA.

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