Tuesday 1 December, Honiara – The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) expressed its appreciation to the Government and the people of Japan for their continuous support to infrastructure development in the Solomon Islands.
Members of the SICCI Board and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ms Natalina Hong paid a courtesy call to the Japanese Ambassador to Solomon Islands, H.E Morimoto Yasuhiro on Friday 27 November where discussions focused exploring private sector partnership.
This is part of the Chamber’s efforts to reach out and maintain meaningful engagement and communication with all our development partners.
SICCI, as the peak body representing private sector in the country, were also updated on Phase II of the Kukum Highway Project will include the rehabilitation of the road from the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources to Lungga Bridge (4 lanes, 5km) and from Lungga Bridge to the Honiara International Airport (2 lanes, 2km including Lungga Bridge).
SICCI Board Chairman, Mr Jay Bartlett said this is the sort of infrastructure development Solomon Islands needs to support economic growth.
“Roads are the arteries through which the economy pulses. By linking producers to markets, workers to jobs, students to school, and the sick to hospitals, roads are vital to any development agenda,” Mr Bartlett said.
It is understood that Phase II of the Kukum Highway Project is expected to be completed before the hosting of the 2023 Pacific Games which is expected to improve efficiency in mobility and provide a much-needed facelift for the capital, Honiara.
SICCI during the courtesy call highlighted the importance of engaging for local content in these big infrastructure projects which in turn provides needed employment for the country’s growing youth population.
CEO, Ms Hong said infrastructure along with the country’s complex tax system, corruption and land are key impediments to growth and if addressed would help the private sector make a stronger contribution to inclusive economic growth in the Solomon Islands.
SICCI also expressed its willingness to establish partnerships on a business level with businesses and organisations in Japan.
Ambassador, H.E Morimoto welcomed the courtesy visit and discussions with SICCI as an opportunity to learn more about the private sector in the country and how the Japanese Embassy and SICCI can work together in developing mutual interests for the betterment of Solomon Islands.
SICCI also commends Japan for their quiet but strong commitment to assisting development in Solomon Islands through initiatives such as the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects which has gone a long way in enhancing the wellbeing of Solomon Islanders at the grassroot or rural level.
This project reflects Japan’s commitment to contribute to improvements in various fields including education, health, social welfare, vocational training, as well as other sectors.
The SICCI CEO on behalf of members businesses thanked the Government of Japan for its continuous support to Solomon Islands.