The Solomon Islands Infrastructure Program (SIIP) engaged with local and international construction businesses and suppliers in Honiara yesterday with an industry briefing about the Australian-funded economic infrastructure program, which promises to deliver local jobs and local industry opportunities.
Speaking at the event opening, SIIP Steering Committee member and Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of National Planning and Development Coordination, Susan Sulu, said firms who were considering working on SIIP projects should understand SIIP’s twin goals.
‘SIIP aims to deliver quality, resilient, inclusive economic infrastructure, while also improving industry skills, standards and policy settings,’ said PS Sulu. ‘Construction firms seeking to deliver SIIP construction activities need to commit to SIIP’s policies on safety, quality, climate resilience and inclusion’. These policies are available on the SIIP website (www.siip.com.sb). PS Sulu also said ‘I encourage you to embrace the opportunities presented by SIIP so that this country can realise the economic benefits that high priority, high quality infrastructure can deliver for Solomon Islanders’.
SIIP Team Leader Eleanor Fenton emphasised SIIP’s point of difference from other traditional infrastructure projects.
‘Local content is a fundamental guiding principle for SIIP,’ said Ms Fenton. ‘Each and every SIIP investment will look to maximise local content opportunities. This includes working with the sector to support participation in opportunities as they arise. This ultimately means the economic benefits will remain in Solomon Islands.’
‘There will also be opportunities for international firms, where expertise is not available in Solomon Islands,’ said Ms Fenton. The seminar explained how SIIP can support government planning and the infrastructure lifecycle, including maintenance. Presentations highlighted SIIP’s key principles, which include gender equality, disability and social inclusion; climate change and disaster resilience; local content; capacity development; and safety and quality. SIIP is a ten-year SBD1.5 billion program funded by the Government of Australia and delivered in partnership with the Solomon Islands Government.