BY BEN BILUA
AUSTRALIA through the Strongim Binis programme is assisting Kolombangara Forest Plantation Limited (KFPL).
In an interview with Island Sun, General Manager of KFPL Edwin Schramm said his office is in contact with Australian counterparts every two weeks to expand the business further.
He said Australia is trying its very best to assist KFPL remain viable since the company suffered serious setbacks during and after covid-19.
Schramm said discussions look at other opportunities; most major focus will be redeveloping KFPL’s customer base.
He said the project also supports outgrower and downstream processing.
Schramm said a total of 300 hectares of land have been engaged under the outgrowing project.
He adds that Australia also played a major role in the establishment of Pallet Plant next to the KFPL seaport.
“This project also helped us to establish the Pallet Plant. This was funded one hundred percent by Australia.
“Was it not for the Pallet Plant, we would have wasted our logs.
“We are processing these logs and produce pallets which are sold domestically,” Schramm said.
When ask about whether he welcomes Chinese investors, Schramm said he would prefer Australian investors over China.
“We would prefer Australia to have a greater interest in this business and we are talking to the High Commissioner so as other interested parties in Australia to take interest in this business.
“They could be our first preference
“But if it doesn’t happen, there not much we can do, I’m not encouraging China, this is not what I want to do.”
Australia support began in 2020 – a year after Chinese officials visited Kolombangara (2019).