Officials and participants who attend the New Zealand Trade Mission Forum

The Chairlady of Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry [SICCI] says balancing the trade activities between countries is paramount to achieve equal economic benefits.

Ms. Namoi Kaluae made the statement during the opening of New Zealand Pacific Business Mission Forum which was held at Heritage Park on 10 -12th June.

She said Solomon Islands and New Zealand has enjoyed trade relations for decades and last year Statistics New Zealand shows that trade of good and services between the two countries was worth USD 21.1 million of which USD6 million was exports to NZ from Solomon Islands.

“The figure of trade between our two countries is a tiny fraction of NZ international trade and surely there are opportunities to expand our relationship to narrow the gap between value of imports to exports for goods and services. Ideal trade relationship is balancing the benefits between countries. If one country buys a higher value than they sell in any particular year, the balance of payment is uneven so that needs to be balanced,” Ms. Kaluae said.

In her speech, Ms. Kaluae said, the NZ Trade Mission presents SICCI members with unique opportunity to forge new partnerships, foster existing collaboration and explore avenues for mutual growth and prosperity between our two nations.

She adds that the MOU symbolises the strength of bilateral relations and the shared commitment to economic progress and development in the two countries.

“As representative of SICCI, we stand at the forefront of promoting trade and investment opportunities for our members. The relationships we build through initiatives like the New Zealand Trade Mission are not just a business transaction but are foundations to sustainable economic advancement, innovation and inclusive growth.

“New Zealand, with its rich cultural heritage, technological advancement, and vibrant economy offers wealth of opportunities across various sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, tourism or technology – an avenue waiting to be explored and potential waiting to be realised.

“Through this Trade Mission, we aim to create meaningful connections, foster dialogue and lay the ground work for fruitful business endeavours that will benefit both nations,” Ms. Kaluae said.

She said SICCI is optimistic to maximise opportunities mainly on businesses to explore export as a revenue stream in doing so enabling vibrant business environment and economic growth.

“Hearing from New Zealanders or Kiwis what they need and what they can on-sell will help shape Solomon Islands Business environment,” she said.

Ms. Kaluae acknowledged the New Zealand High Commissioner to Solomon Islands H: E Johnathan Schwass, Pacific Trade Commissioner, Mr. David Dewar, Acting Chair of New Zealand Pacific Business Council Mr. Matthew Stroud, Solomon Islands Government, SICCI Secretariat and SICCI Members for organizing and attending the important event.

The forum brought together business owners and trade experts from New Zealand to Honiara to meet with SICCI members as well as Government Officials.

The event was the first fruit of a Memorandum of Understanding [MOU] signed last year between SICCI and New Zealand Pacific Business Council. A MOU that recognizes the common goal of both parties to promote (i)economic development and (ii) employment growth in Solomon Islands and New Zealand through exploring business opportunities in Solomon Islands and New Zealand.

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