Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus remains a challenge for Solomon Islands.
Mr Sogavare made the statement this morning at a media conference after having bilateral discussions with visiting Australian Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Investment, Hon. Steven Ciobo MP.
Speaking to members of the local media, Prime Minister Sogavare says they have discussed a number of bilateral issues, including labour mobility and the PACER Plus.
“We discussed a number of bilateral issues. The issues of labour mobility and I thank the Minister for his kind response to the issues we raised with him. The PACER Plus will continue to be an issue for us, our challenge of course will be the establishment cost and the supply side challenges that Solomon Islands has to be in a position where it can actively participate in some of these agreements and we acknowledge the tremendous contribution by Australia in terms of their investment in this country.”
The Prime Minister said he was very pleased with the discussions held this morning with Australian Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Investment, Hon. Steven Ciobo MP.
Meanwhile in his short remarks to the media, Australian Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Investment Hon. Steven Ciobo says Australia sees its future and that of Solomon Islands as being intertwined.
He explains, whatever affects any one country, affects both.
“Certainly, in terms of the nature of our relationship, we view it as our futures being intertwined and things that impact on Australia impact on the Solomon Islands and things that impact on Solomon Islands have an impact on Australia. In that sense, we want to make sure that we match our good intentions with good deeds on the ground in Solomon Islands. I am doing some of those things today and tomorrow with respect to the refurbishment of the neonatal ward and the cocoa testing laboratory, but am also having the opportunity to meet with a number of Australian-based businesses who’ve invested in Solomon Islands.”
SIBC News understands this is Australia’s first high-level visit to Solomon Islands since its national elections last November.