The leaked Economic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Deepening Blue Economy between Solomon Islands and China targets various investments in the ocean— amongst them is the exploration of offshore oil, gas and mineral resources in the country’s waters.
The document which the Office of the Prime Minister said has not been formally signed has covered various areas including the exploration of offshore oil, gas and mineral resources.
Under Article 3, the parties will be encouraged to conduct investment in cooperation in the blue economy, including but not limited to the following field or industries:
– Marine, distant water fishing, seafood processing etc;
– Marine biopharmaceutical, marine engineering technology, sea-water desalination, marine salt industry, etc;
-Port wharves, submarine optical cable construction, shipbuilding and ship repair, ocean transportation, etc;
– Marine tourism and leisure services;
– Photovoltaic, wind power, tidal power and other clean energy and transmission networks;
The proposed MOU states that the parties (PRC & SI) will promote the introduction of more pragmatic, efficient policies and measures that encourage and support businesses to jointly establish marine economic cooperation parks. And deep sea fishing bases and create better and more attractive investment cooperation platforms for enterprises of the two countries.
OPMC’s response to leaking of MOU
The document was leaked recently in the social media and already attracted a response from the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
In a statement tonight, they say nothing is sinister nor trivial about the Blue Economy Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that is yet to be formalized between the government of Peoples’ Republic of China (PRC) and the Solomon Islands government.
“The MOU is still in its draft form, awaiting more insights and inputs from the line government ministries, however, its underlying objective is to tap on potential economic investment opportunities relating to ocean resources,” the statement added.
“Amongst other things, the MOU aims at enhancing and regulating foreign investments while protecting national interests and eradicate resource exploitation, it further aims to ensure that foreign investments are aligned with the government’s development aspirations and policies,” the OPMC statement outlined.