SICCI engages with businesses in Western Province

The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) Board and Secretariat earlier this month travelled to the Western Province where they had the opportunity engage and host a networking event with local businesses there.

Nine Board members including the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and staff at the SICCI Secretariat travelled to Munda on Monday 5th December where the private sector organization hosted its final Board meeting for this year 2023.

While in Munda, SICCI Board members took the opportunity to tour the Soltuna Cannery in Noro and the Mariner Hotel in the provincial capital, Gizo.

SICCI also hosted its popular networking event, the Business After 5, on Monday 5th December at Agnes Gateway Hotel in Munda attended by over twenty local businesses enabling SICCI to engage with businesses in Munda, Noro, and a few Resort owners in Western Province.

Presentations during the Business After 5 was delivered by Tim Bula from the Kolombangara Forest Plantation Limited (KFPL) and Selwyn Talasasa representing the Tuna Trust Credit Union.

SICCI CEO, Ms Natalina Hong urged businesses who attended to be part of the Chamber as members in order to be heard and integrated into national policies where private sector is present

“Local businesses in provinces are doing more for our local communities in terms of local solutions and services, apart from providing employment and revenue, where there is an absent of Government services, as such, there should be some consideration on some incentives for businesses.

“SICCI engage with businesses by bringing relevant business information and services they need in partnership with the relevant ministries and organizations,” Ms Hong said.

SICCI Chairman, Mr Ricky Fuo’o while introducing SICCI Board members to the provincial businesses stressed that the composition of the Board is made up of representative of both big companies and Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs). He said there are equal opportunity for any member of the Chamber to be on the Board.

The SICCI Chairman went on to explain the services SICCI provides to its members and the role it plays in advocating for members as the peak body representing private sector in the Solomon Islands.

The Chamber recognizes that large number of its membership is based in Honiara. SICCI currently has over 200 members as well as a number of affiliations to other national private sector organisations, covering approximately 80 percent of the Solomon Islands private sector workforce. Sixty (60) percent of the SICCI membership is made up of Small Medium Enterprises employing less than 20 employees. A small number of members are based in the province, although two of the largest employer in private sector are also based in provinces.

“SICCI prioritises this engagement with businesses in the provinces in order to better represent the Solomon Islands private sector. Ultimately this meets the SICCI goal of contributing to economic development across the country, and not just in Honiara.

“This approach of taking value-add services to them, is because being based in the provinces they lack access to networks or support systems as compared to businesses in Honiara,” SICCI CEO, Ms Hong, said

SICCI also acknowledges Solomon Airlines for sponsoring two domestic tickets as prizes for a draw during the Business After 5 event in Munda.

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