Honiara Opens New Crafts Market Center

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Minister for Culture & Tourism, Hon Bartholomew Parapolo delivering his remarks.

Honiara now has a new Crafts Market Center which was recently opened on the 1st November 2018 at the National Art Gallery grounds by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and other development partners.

The Crafts Market Center is well built, beautiful from outside and inside, comfy for its users and designed to be attractive to visitors with local, unique and high quality arts and crafts displayed in it.

The Minister for Culture and Tourism, Hon Bartholomew Parapolo said the Honiara Craft Market Center is not is not only a facility where Solomon Islands unique and high quality arts and crafts products will be displayed and sold. It also provides a venue within Honiara for interaction between locals and international visitors.

“This facility will host arts and crafts practitioners that will not only display and sell their products but also will help in educating our own people and overseas visitor about our handicrafts and their cultural significance.

“It will help support the growth of women, youths and community groups in business as the plan is to have spaces within the new facility to support other SIG ministries’ policy initiatives that are aimed at promoting participation of our people in economic activities,” Hon Parapolo said.

He said the facility will be used to support economic empowerment and involvement of loacl people in cultural industries and also provide the venue for future possible Arts and Cultural Exchange programs between Solomon Islands, Taiwan and other countries.

Hon Parapolo is very happy that his ministry has reached another significant milestone by the completion of the Crafts Market Center facility.

He said the completion of the project is a reflection of successful partnership and engagement between the government and the developing partners and it signifies the outcome-focused approach by his ministry in the face of budget cuts and shifting government priorities.

“Despite a significant reduction in the ministry’s development budget in 2018, we stood by own commitment to deliver the first-ever government and donor funded facility that will help drive the growth of the culture industries in the country.

“The completion of the new facility is a significant progress in the government’s (MCT) ongoing efforts and commitments to grow the tourism sector through supporting the growth of the cultural industries in the country,” said Hon Parapolo.

The vision for the facility was initiated by the MCT and therefore was included in the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) program under the tourism and culture agenda and the design concept of the facility was also funded by the EIF program.

Hon Parapolo said noting the cost of the facility and the urgency to have the facility ready for the hosting of the 6th Melanesian Arts Festival in July this year, in early 2017 MCT in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign affairs took to the co-funding proposal to their development partners in a presentation session.

He said the Republic of China-Taiwan responded positively and the co-funding arrangements were finalized before mid 2017 and on the 1st November, 2018 Honiara together with Taiwan Embassy to Solomon Islands marked the successful completion of a total co-fund project between SIG, ROC-Taiwan and EIF Program of SBD$11.9 Million.

He emphasized that the government’s effort and commitments through his ministry was through the Democratic Coalition for Change (DCCG) Government guiding principle behind the vision for a Crafts Market Center to facilitate self-employment, self-reliance and foster productivity in all spheres of development.

Hon Parapolo thanked the contractor of the project-ROPIKO construction, Mr Rolland Piko and the necessary approvals of the design and plan of the Crafts Market Center by the Honiara City Council (HCC) through its Town and Country Planning Board.

He also thanked the SIG for believing in the vision and work plan of his ministry for the construction of the facility, notably the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Infrastructure Development and other supporting ministries and SIG agencies.

On behalf of the Prime Minister, Hon Rick Houenipwela, SIG and the people of Solomon Islands, Hon Parapolo conveyed their gratitude and appreciation to the Government and the people of the Republic of China (Taiwan) for the very successful partnership that has resulted in the completion of the Craft Market Center.

Prime Minister, Hon Rick Houenipwela cut a ribbon to mark the official opening of the Crafts Market Center.

The opening ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Hon Rich Houenipwela, Ambassador of Taiwan in Solomon Islands, His Excellency Roger Luo, Minister for Culture and Tourism, Hon Bartholomew Parapolo, Trade Commissioner for Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Joseph Ma’ahunua and other government officials.