The 9th Australia Solomon Islands Business Forum a Success
The #9ASIBF took place from 24 - 26th July, 2017 at the Heritage Park Hotel in Honiara, delivered by APIBC and SICCI.
— By APIBC
The 9th Australia Solomon Islands Business Forum was held in Honiara, Solomon Islands last week. The event commenced with an opening reception hosted by the Australian High Commissioner, Mr Roderick Brazier at his residence followed by a full two day program at the Heritage Park Hotel, Honiara on 25th and 26th July. A small group of delegates also visited the Western Province following the forum on 27 – 28th July.
The 9th Australia Solomon Islands Business Forum attracted 150 attendees including Delegates, Speakers, Sponsors and Media, representing approximately 85 organisations from across Australia, Solomon Islands and the wider Pacific Region.
The event was a great success with strong attendance and great participation from all involved. This is the second time the event has been held in Solomon Islands and the turnout is testament to the business community’s interest and level of engagement with the business community, the Australia Pacific Islands Business Council, the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Government. There was certainly a strong desire to see Solomon Islands realise its potential across a number of sectors including Tourism, Mining and Agriculture to name a few.
The Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, The Hon Manasseh Sogavare MP, and The Hon Keith Pitt MP, Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism & Investment, delivered their respective governments’ keynote addresses. Mr Michael Kikiolo, Chief Manager Economics, Central Bank of Solomon Islands made a presentation on the Solomon Islands Economy with further discussion on Building the Pathway to Sustainable Economic Growth with Mr Harry Kuma, Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Finance and Treasury. Mr Dennis Meone, CEO, Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI)also presented on the recent landmark signing of an MOU between the Solomon Islands Government and SICCI to build sustainable economic development and strengthen public private partnership.
A range of expert speakers presented over two days on topics such as Bringing Future Benefits to Solomon Islands, The Future of Law and Justice post-RAMSI, Future Developments in Solomon Islands Tourism, Growing Solomon Islands Agriculture, Building the Business Sector, Building Solomon Islands Infrastructure, Governance Models for State Owned Enterprises and a Resources Projects Update. You can view the full program here. Speakers presentations will be shared via email with participating Delegates.
The Forum was also used as an opportunity to announce and celebrate some important programs and initiatives taking place in Solomon Islands including;
- Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment The Hon, Keith Pitt MP launching the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA) supported Handicrafts Vendor Guide and video 'Take it home: a guide to souvenirs in Solomon Islands' on the opening reception at the High Commissioner's residence.
- Assistant Minister Pitt also launched a key new initiative of the Australian Government called Strongim Bisnis, which will involve working with the private sector to support growth in selected markets, initially cocoa, coconut and tourism. Aligned with the Solomon Islands National Development Strategy, enabling inclusive economic growth is a key priority of Australia’s aid program in Solomon Islands.
- Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) hosted ‘After Five’ drinks at the conclusion of day one of the forum and took the opportunity to celebrate participating organisations in the #WakaMere Program: A Commitment to Action – Solomon Islands Companies Implementing Gender Smart Business Solutions. An initiative supported by SICCI, Solomon islands Professional Women’s Network (SIPNET), International Finance Corporation and Australian Aid.
Australia and Solomon Islands have an enduring bilateral and business relationship Australia is Solomon Island’s biggest trading partner and largest donor partner. The bilateral development assistance program supports a wide range of development and economic sectors including infrastructure, tourism, trade, agriculture, mining, business, education and health. The private sector is the driver of Solomon Island’s economy. Improving the ease of doing business and greater engagement and action from the Solomon Islands Government in working with the private sector is the key to growth and development of these key industries with potential.
It has been great to work in partnership with the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry team in delivering this event; they are also involved in many initiatives to boost business in Solomon Islands. You can learn more about SICCI here.
The Forum was wholly funded by sponsors and attendance fees by delegates. We thank the Sponsors for their support of this event. These include DIAMOND: ANZ Banking, Our Telekom, Bank South Pacific and bMobile Vodafone. PLATINUM: Southwest Pacific Bauxite, Pronto Software, International Finance Corporation, Holding Redlich, Kramer Ausenco, Dentons, Pacific Air Express and British American Tobacco. GOLD: Deloitte, Axiom, Morris & Sojnocki Chartered Accountants, Solrais and Ela Motors. Thanks also to the Australian High Commission, Solomon Islands for their continued support and participation in the forum.
We look forward to seeing Delegates at the 10th Australia Solomon Islands Business Forum to be held in Australia in 2018.
25th July - New initiatives to help Solomon Islands economy grow (Hon Keith Pitt MP)
25th July – Solomon Islands businesses join together to implement ‘gender smart’ business solutions (IFC)
24th July - Visit to promote economic links with the Solomon Islands (Hon Keith Pitt MP)
6th July – Signing of Historic MOU to Strengthen Public Private Partnership (SICCI)
Pictured L-R: President of SICCI, Jay Bartlett, Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism & Investment, Hon Keith Pitt MP, Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, The Hon Manasseh Sogavare MP and President of APIBC, Mr Gary Clifford.
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