Mesepitu: Committee in place to monitor businesses reserved for locals

Mesepitu: Committee in place to monitor businesses reserved for locals


By Sharon Nanau

A monitoring process is in place to ensure certain business activities that are reserved for locals are not operated by foreigners.

In compliance with the relevant business regulations, the Business, Monitoring, Joint Agency Committee (BMJAC) has been established to monitor reserved business activities for locals.

This committee was made up of officials from the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labor and Immigration and other government ministries.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labor and Immigration Riley Mesepitu said the committee is mandated to monitor these activities annually depending on the availability of budget from the government.

“A team was established in 2019, the BMAJAC committee is made of up of all law enforcement agencies within the ministries including foreign investment, Company Haus, Immigration, Labor plus IRD, NPF, RSIPF, Honiara City Council and all enforcement agencies.”  

“We face budget constraints as some of the industries in the reserved business list are in the provinces for example logging and this is where a lot of the non-compliances take place. An inspection into businesses is currently being planned and this will take place soon.” 

Mr Mesiputu said under the reserved business regulation foreigners can operate business listed under the local reserved business activities if the business operating space is above 200 square meters and if a foreigner partners with a local. 

“You will find some of the cafeteria and eatery places owned by foreigners, you can compare those business on their sizes, space and type of cafeteria they operate, so small fish and chip types this is only for the locals but if you see the coffee cafes and eatery places, they operate above the 200 square meters space.” 

Mr Mesipitu explained other businesses that have partnered with locals and operate in the country are the Bangladesh businesses.  

He claimed the ministry cannot keep the reserved business activities close while locals are not operating in the space. 

“The reserved business activities space cannot stay there for long, if no-one wants to participate, we will open it up so that economic activities can take place. We have a reserved business policy to protect our local small business enterprises but if they are not participating, we will have to open it up,” Mr Mesepitu said. 


Share This