BY BEN BILUA
EXPORT Commodity Market Authority (CEMA) Trading Centre at Noro is expected to reopen at the end of this year.
This was highlighted during a consultation between the Cabinet Sub-Committee of the Prime Minister’s Office and officials from the Western Province on Wednesday this week.
In an interview with this paper, Director of CEMA who is also the Team Leader of PMO’s Cabinet Sub-committee, Martin Housanau said the consultation was successful with a lot of positive outcomes to pave the proposed plan forward.
“So, we are here for two purposes.
“Our first objective is to inform the Western Provincial government that cabinet has endorsed a strategy to reinstate the trading functions of the Commodity Export Authority and that CEMA is looking at reestablishing its Noro buying center to buy copra and cocoa.
“And the second objective is to discus with WPG on preferable partnership arrangement that would see greater benefits for both CEMA and WPG. Partnership can either be a joint venture and what type of joint-venture is much preferred for CEMA to strike with WPG business arm,” he said.
Housanau said information gathered from the meeting will be deliberated by the cabinet so as the board and management of CEMA for possible intervention around November this year.
He said the team will travel to Makira province to meet with the Makira provincial government and then to Malu, Malaita and Lata, Temotu province with the same message on later dates.
“Hopefully, the Noro buying center is expected to open around November this year. The same goes to other buying centers in Malu Malaita Province and Kaonasugu in Makira province.
“These are the four major buying centers that the team through cabinet’s blessing is trying to work towards this year.
“If any of these buying centers are unable to open this year, we will look at opening these buying centers next year,” Housanau said.
He said two engineers from the Ministry of Infrastructure are also travelling with the team to undergo technical assessment on proposed buying centers.
Housanau explained that the assessment focuses on both physical infrastructure and basic infrastructures such as road, bridges and wharves.