REPRESENTING the interest and concerns of the private sector, the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) on Wednesday 22nd May 2019 paid a courtesy call to Prime Minister Honourable Manasseh Sogavare.
This is part of the Chamber’ efforts to continue building whole-of-government support for private sector engagement and participation in key economic areas in the development of Solomon Islands.
Members of the SICCI Board were led by Chairman, Jay Bartlett, Vice Chairman, David Rupokets, Board members Craig Gibsone, Hilda Lamani, Ricky Fuo’o and SICCI Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Atenasi Ata.
The courtesy visit was an opportunity for the SICCI Board to personally congratulate the Hon Prime Minister on his successful election, touch base on key private sector issues and assuring the Chamber’s willingness to work in partnership with the Government.
“The Chamber of Commerce values the partnership established to date with the Prime Minister’s Office and the Government and we see this relationship as central to realizing full and sustained development of the country, primarily as SICCI represents all the sectors of industry, as well as the peak private sector body due to its membership size,” SICCI Chairman, Mr Bartlett, said.
Mr Bartlett highlighted during the visit three key events in the SICCI 2019 Calendar that would be of sufficient interest to the Honourable Prime Minister.
The three events include the Prime Minister’s Breakfast, the Australia-Solomon Islands Business Forum and the Business Excellence Awards.
The Prime Minister’s Breakfast is an annual event that SICCI organizes for the Prime Minister to address and meet members of the business community.
The event also provides an avenue for the Government and the business community to constructively discuss some issues that will promote further the development of the private sector.
The second event is the Australia Solomon Islands Business Forum which will be hosted in Honiara in the week of 9th September.
It is a Forum where businesses from Solomon Islands and Australia discuss mutual investment opportunities. The Forum will start in Munda and Noro in the Western Province looking at businesses there including fisheries and tourism and then to Honiara for the forum-proper.
And finally, SICCI’s premiere event of the year the Business Excellence Awards proposed for early November which rewards business innovation and growth, as well as community contribution.
During the courtesy call, SICCI Chairman, Mr Bartlett and the Honourable Prime Minister also briefly discussed the potential involvement of SICCI and the private sector in the Government policy formation.
Discussions also touched on business opportunities in the agriculture sector and land reform.
Meanwhile SICCI CEO, Ms Ata highlights that private sector has been the driving force for economic growth in the Solomon Islands and will continue to do so.
“For the private sector to operate effectively it needs a good enabling business environment. An environment that allows businesses to operate competitively, grow and prosper. An environment where investors and businesses are confident to do business and this includes employment opportunities. In order to achieve this, partnership with Government is vital,” Ms Ata said.
The MoU signed between SICCI and the Government in 2017 was also discussed as paving the way for more meaningful participation between both parties, to further the Government’s policy on private sector participation in the economic future of Solomon Islands.