Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has expressed the need for further enrichment of Solomon Islands’ relationship with the Republic of China, Taiwan.
This was articulated when the Prime Minister received the Ambassador of the Republic of China His Excellency Victor Te-sun Yu and Rear Admiral Yu-Pin Lin, Commander of the visiting Republic of China Navy Midshipmen Cruising Training Squadron for an audience yesterday.
The Prime Minister said the Solomon Islands Government was pleased to welcome Rear Admiral Yu-Pin Lin and his squadron on their good will visit to the country.
Prime Minister Sogavare acknowledged the ROC Government for its input to Solomon Islands national budget over the years but reiterated there is a need to further enhance the relationship.
He said the relationship has steadily grown over the last 32 years and both countries need to do more to enrich it.
The Prime Minister said Solomon Islands continues to be listed as a least developed country and is the second highest aid-dependent country, adding that these dilemmas have much to do with the kind of policies the country has been advancing since independence.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister said the Democratic Coalition for Change (DCC) Government believes that the way forward from this situation is to attract more investors into the country through the introduction of a Special Economic Zones legislation.
Mr Sogavare said DCC’s policy directions are to attract investors into the country to invest in the fisheries, agriculture and tourism sectors.
He said, there is much potential in these areas and the country wants to capitalise on them to boost its economy.
He added his government is now working on the legislation for the Special Economic Zones policy and it should be tabled in Parliament at the next sitting in July.
The Prime Minister said a group of Chinese investors interested in the local tourism sector had visited the country and had an audience with him last week.
He said the group spoke of the importance of improving facilities at the Honiara International Airport to boost tourist arrivals and expressed its readiness to assist Solomon Islands on this front.
Ambassador Yu in turn thanked the Solomon Islands Government and people for making the visit of the ROC Navy Midshipmen Cruising Squadron a success.