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Australia Extends Partnership with the Solomons Islands Private Sector

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Strongim Bisnis, the Australian Government funded program which fosters the growth of local businesses, has been extended through to 30 June 2023. Working with the private sector and the Solomon Islands Government, the program aims to have a strong, positive, and lasting impact on the economy.

The program works to overcome barriers to growing businesses, and uses innovative approaches to build new businesses, diversify existing ones, or scale up operations so that more people benefit.

The Minister for Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration. Hon. Frederick Kologeto said the extension to the program was a welcome development at a crucial time for economic recovery.

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“The Ministry of Commerce is very supportive of the great work that Strongim Bisnis is doing in partnership with the Solomon Islands private sector and government. 

“As the country is responding to the impact of the pandemic, the extension of this program is very welcome and most timely.”

The Australian High Commissioner, Dr Lachlan Strahan, said Strongim Bisnis was a great example of what can be achieved by the Australia-Solomon Islands partnership. 

“From women’s economic empowerment to breaking down the barriers to business growth, Strongim Bisnis and its local partners continue to develop and implement innovative solutions, helping to build a more resilient and robust private sector.”

Dr Strahan said the decision to extend Strongim Bisnis for another 12 months reflects Australia’s strong commitment to supporting Solomon Islands’ response and recovery from the pandemic.

“Australia is proud to be partnering with Solomon Islands to foster economic resilience and create opportunities for sustainable growth and development.”

“I’ve been able to see Strongim Bisnis doing great work at the grass-roots level, working for instance with Kolombangara Forest Products Limited in Western Province to allow small-scale local out growers to expand their own timber plantations and Zai Na Tina Farm in Honiara to make better use of the green waste generated by Honiara Central Market to expand organic farming.”

Launched in 2017, Strongim Bisnis tackles Solomon Islands trade and investment challenges, working with local partners to develop solutions for businesses and investors in the coconut, cocoa, tourism, waste management, timber, financial services and horticulture industries, while empowering women, youth and people living with disability.

The program uses a market systems development (MSD) approach to address poverty through inclusive economic growth, and is the first of its kind in Solomon Islands.

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