BACK TO THE BASICS SOLOMON ISLANDS: PM SOGAVARE

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare. Photo credit: OPMC.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare. Photo credit: OPMC.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has said the country needs to go back to the basics and establish whether its key basic activities are functioning to the level required to move the economy forward.

Speaking to local journalists in a Budget Reporting workshop held in Honiara over the weekend, Mr. Sogavare said this is the bottom line for the country’s economy.

Of all the basic activities, he says important also is the country’s ability to earn from abroad in order to trade.

“And of all the activities, the ability of the country to earn from abroad in order to trade and the ability of the country to collect the desired level of revenue to sustain a meaningful public investment program are most important. Important as well is the proper use of official transfers to the country by way of aid assistance. We just need to see the state of the economy and the deteriorating state of public infrastructure, just drive on the road and see for yourself, basically essential services to believe that the country is performing below par in this area.”

The Prime Minister said the level of economic activities in the country is inadequate to generate revenue levels and required savings to sustain a viable public investment program in infrastructure and essential services.

SIBC News understands, the country’s basic economic activities are copra, cocoa, logs and fisheries production and exports.

Meanwhile, Mr. Sogavare said a comprehensive decentralization strategy appears to be the way forward for Solomon Islands.

He says this strategy would be the way forward to developing the huge potentials that the country has in its rural and remote areas.

Prime Minister Sogavare added that some specific strategies would include the government’s direct involvement in tourism, agriculture, and other sectors.

“And some specific strategies would include the direct involvement of the government in tourism, agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors. The increased funding, you can shoot me down now, to the constituency towards the comprehensive rural development strategy to create opportunity in the rural area, a meaningful reform of the country’s investment policy.”

He said the policy would emphasize the attraction of quality investors to rural Solomon Islands through the implementation of a radical special economic zone strategy.

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