Fisheries sector should be prioritized to sustain the country’s shrinking economy says local economist, and former Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo.
Mr Lilo told SIBC News in an exclusive interview this week.
The formsr Prime Minister said, while COVID-19 Pandemic continues to ravage the global economy, small economies like Solomon Islands, will be hit hard and needs to set its priorities right.
“Most immediate one that come to mind is the processing fisheries sector. I wan us to put more focus on fisheries sector. A good part of our territorial boundary is made up of waters, where we can fish and we need to focus on both off-shore and in-shore fisheries. That will put our economy back on track.”
He said, unlike other land-based industries like tourism, that have complicated processes to go about, fisheries industry only needs commitment from the National and provincial governments.
“With fisheries, the resources belong to the state, it only requires both the national and provincial government to attract the right investors to establish processing facilities here, say in all provinces.”
Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury, Makini Dentana confirmed, fisheries sector is the only industry currently generating revenue to the country.
“The good news is that, despite of the COVID-19 Pandemic crises globally, our fisheries industry, especially Soltuna is still generating revenue to the country.”
The local economy is projected to fall by -4.99% by the fourth quarter of this year.
by Charley Piringi