WORLD BANK OFFERED SOLOMON ISLANDS MORE SUPPORT

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and World Bank Vice-President, East Asia, and Pacific Region, Victoria Kwakwa.

                                                       Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and World Bank Vice-President, East Asia, and Pacific Region, Victoria Kwakwa.

The World Bank (WB) has offered to give more financial and advisory support to Solomon Islands within the next three years.

A government statement said Word Bank Vice-President, East Asia, and Pacific Region, Victoria Kwakwa made the offer when she met Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare at his office yesterday.

Ms. Kwakwa expressed her delight when she met Prime Minister Sogavare to enter into discussions with the Solomon Islands Government on how best it can work with the international financial institution.

Ms. Kwakwa acknowledged the many challenges that the Government is facing in getting services right down to the widely dispersed rural communities in Solomon Islands.

She assured the Prime Minister of the Bank’s support of the ongoing reforms that the Government is implementing, especially social and economic reforms.

Ms. Kwakwa heads a delegation who are in the country to look at the on-going projects supported by World Bank including the Rapid Employment Project, Tina Hydro Project and the Solomon Islands Rural Development Programme phase II (RDP-II).

Meanwhile, in his response, Prime Minister Sogavare told Ms. Kwakwa and her delegation that Solomon Islands is faced with socio-economic and political challenges like any other small developing nation, however, there is strength in its natural resources.

The Prime Minister says the Democratic Coalition for Change (DCC) Government is excited about the Tina Hydro Project and would be working with the Bank, Korean Exim Bank, and Global Environmental Fund (GEF) to ensure the project gets off the ground.

In terms of foreign investment, Prime Minister Sogavare said it has been challenging to attract genuine high-quality investment into the country.

He says the DCC Government’s move to establish the Special Economic Zones in specific areas in the country is an attempt at addressing this gap while making sure Solomon Islanders retain maximum benefit for the development of their resources.

Ms. Victoria Kwakwa and her delegation also met with the Minister of Finance and Treasury Hon. Snyder Rini and the Minister of Development Planning and Aid Coordination, Hon. Danny Philip.

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