BY TARROMANE MARTIN
THE business community will benefit at the same time contribute significantly to the local economy as a result of the country’s hosting of the Pacific Games in 2023.
Managing Director of Hatanga Limited and Chair of the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI), Mr Jay Bartlett expressed this sentiment when addressing the Prime Minister’s Breakfast, hosted by SICCI, in Honiara Wednesday last week where Prime Minister Hon Rick Hou formally engaged with the private sector and members of the business community.
Mr Bartlett said the hosting of the 2023 Pacific Games is one of those rare opportunities where the eyes of the Pacific will be focused on our country.
“Business participation before and after the Games has many opportunities for the benefit of our local economy,” he said.
A significant benefit for Solomon Islands is the long term investment which comes from preparing for such a major event like the Pacific Games.
The most notable infrastructure development project the Solomon Islands Government in collaboration with the Japanese Government are undertaking is the Kukum Highway Upgrade Project, which is also part of preparing Honiara City for 2023.
Mr Bartlett commended both governments for their commitment towards the project which will also be beneficial for businesses and investment.
“The current Kukum Highway Upgrade Project and the recent commitments from JICA to upgrade our international airport will improve efficiency in mobility and drastically give a much needed facelift to our capital city,” he said.
“The first impression of travelers to the Solomon Islands is Honiara and we must continue to invest and reinvest to modernize our capital to increase our appeal as a tourist destination,” he added.
Mr Bartlett said development in key fundamental areas like communication, energy and transportation will redirect our economy to improve the investment climate so businesses can grow to benefit the community.