The Ministry of Commerce, Labour and Immigration is taking serious steps to address the influx of foreigners taking over businesses reserved for indigenous people.
Over the past two years, the Ministry had received reports of so called Bangladesh businessmen setting up retail shops in the out skirts of the city.
Commerce Minister William Bradford Marau said his ministry was working on amending the 2009 Act which guided foreign investment in the country as there were loop holes in the Act.
“The Ministry has noted those loopholes, and those are also the measures the ministry will take to amend it,” he said.
“We believe these loopholes have allowed problems to continue.”
He said one of the step to be taken was redefining the terms in the Act to clearly differentiate ‘indigenous’ from ‘citizen’ as that was one area which enable foreigners claiming Solomon Island citizens to run retail businesses reserved for indigenous Solomon islanders.
“An example is that the Act does not specify that these businesses are reserved for indigenous people, it only says Citizens,” he said.
“This means that foreigners can also be citizens, if foreigners are granted citizenship then they can run businesses, so that is one loophole.”
By: Allen Waitara.