Review into the Immigration Act 2012 begins
Immigration Act 2012 consultation review aims to strengthen the country’s immigration laws and increase its economic activities.
Speaking at the Act’s consultation review at Heritage Park hotel today, Immigration office Acting Director Mr Chris Akosawa said to keep up with the changing times in investment and international trade the law needs to be reviewed as it was enacted 10 years ago.
“This is inline with the act’s review theme ‘Safe and Secure Borders for Economic Growth’ which also itself is fitting as it reflects governments redirection policy post the covid-19 pandemic economic recovery,” Mr Akosawa said.
He said the immigration reform will enable the country to meet national, regional and global security standards.
Ministry of Commerce Permanent Secretary Mr Riley Mesepitu during his remarks said the review is important as it will help address issues affecting the country’s skilled workforce and unemployment.
“Solomon Islands as one of the small developing states faces immigration challenging issues due to mismatch of skilled labour workforce and employment, this poses vulnerabilities in our labour market and investment non-compliance issue,” Mr Mesepitu said.
Around 20 percent of youths made up the country’s unemployment rate and this figure keeps on increasing each year.
“The high unemployment figure recorded each year indicates a serious concern on long-term unemployment with wage scars, eroding the opportunity for our young generation to learn and gain professional skills to actively participate in the economy must be properly addressed
A better legislative framework leads to a growth in matching a decent labour force that then increases the productive capacity of the economy,” Mr Mesepitu said.
The immigration bill will also manage the country’s border and pave the way for good investment sites.
The review of the act for Honiara and Guadalcanal concludes this week.
By Sharon Nanau