The Solomon Islands Chamber of commerce and Industry (SICCI) has called on its members to brace for tough times ahead.
SICCI Chairman, Jay Bartlette made the call following the economic outlook amidst the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus worldwide, which is now shrinking global economies tremendously.
“We are in an uncharted waters as a nation, region and people, and the urgency before us is to come together to achieve three things: 1. To protect people and their livelihoods, 2. To keep people employed and support their families and 3. To support our local businesses during this challenging period.”
He said, SICCI Members need to prepare for some of the changes that will be put in place that will restrict personal liberties, businesses and engagement with the world at large.
“For the economy we need to act like there is a crisis before we actually get into one and we will be working closely with our political leadership to look at what measures can be put in place to give the support in the areas that it needed the most,” Mr. Bartlette said.
Sentiments shared among SICCI members is that the last twelve (12) months have been the most challenging in doing business.
Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) has highlighted recently, the impact of the global pandemic [ COVID-19) could potentially have far reaching impacts on health Care systems, global economy and way of life.
CBSI statement said, “The coronavirus will likely to have a considerable negative impact on the Solomon Islands economy. The spread and considerable disruption of this pandemic will be exacerbated by the increasingly intertwined trade and investment relationships between China and its neighbours in the Asia Pacific region.”
“Being a small open economy, the Solomon Islands will likely be adversely affected through the trade channel and thereafter the economy, and even fiscal operations,” the CBSI statement highlighted.
Mr Bartlett said “SICCI have risen to challenges faced in the past and calls on all member businesses to be ready to face what is in front of us.”
He said now more than ever, there will be a greater need for leadership and direction from our National leaders and information sharing and collaboration from our Financial Institutions such as Central Bank, National Provident Fund, Commercial Banks and State-Owned Enterprises.
He calls for communication and action from our Civil Society, Churches and Communities.