SIG-Private Sector Advisory Group meets

The Solomon Islands Government (SIG) – Private Sector Advisory Group held its 14th meeting on Friday 28th October 2022 to discuss issues of concern and where representatives from both parties were able to share views and ideas on the best possibilities to improve the lives of Solomon Islanders and addressing issues affecting a private sector led growth.

The Advisory Group was established under the MoU between the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI), as the peak body representing private sector in the country, and Government.

SICCI was led at the meeting by Vice Chair, Qila Tuhanuku including Board Member, Toby Griffiths, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Natalina Hong and Advocacy Officer, Elvis Bwa’a.

On the Government side, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration, Riley Mesepitu chaired the meeting and was joined by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Collin Beck, Chief Planning Officer of the Ministry of Development Planning and Aid Coordination, Mathew Walekoro, and Policy Secretary for Productive Sector Wilson Karamui from the Prime Minister’s Office.

SICCI CEO, Ms Hong took the opportunity to provide an update from the Chamber while acknowledging the continuous importance of the SIG Private Sector Advisory Group to the private sector development and to further developed over the years to strengthen the relationship that is shared between both Government and Business.

“The Advisory Group meetings also allows the Chamber to present position papers on behalf of the private sector to Government,” she said.

Ms Hong updated the Group that currently the Chamber has four working groups which comprises mainly of businesses who are members of SICCI. These are the Building and Construction Working Group (BCWG), Small Medium Enterprise Working Group (SMEWG), Manufacturing Industry Working Group (MIWG) and Shipping Industry Working Group (SIWG).

The Government representatives also took the opportunity to inform SICCI with updates from the respective ministries and the work they are doing in regard to the impact and benefit to the private sector in Solomon Islands.

SICCI Vice Chairman, Qila Tuhanuku said from the Chamber’s perspective, the relationship between SICCI and Government needs to function beyond political and commercial interests and underpinned by our collective commitment in building the country, to provide opportunities for our people and to fully realize our country’s growth potential.

Ms Tuhanuku also stressed to the Group the importance of identifying a structured way from Government to channel all issues, concerns and ideas raised in these meetings to ensure action is been taken in terms of addressing them.

“Through the Advisory Group, the Government and the private sector will work towards exploring policy and solutions that can work Solomon Islands context through the public and private sector partnership. Both sides will work with the private sector to make recommendations towards the effective implementation of identified Public Private Partnership opportunities,” she said.

According to the Chamber, this partnership is an important strategy to encourage Government and businesses to work together and support the sector that is the engine room of economic growth leads in growing the country’s wealth as well as provides revenue that support Government services.

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