INFRASTRUCTURE plays a significant role in developing our country.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare highlighted when delivering his opening remarks at the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce (SICCI) Infrastructure Symposium at the FFA Conference Centre, in Honiara yesterday.
The Prime Minister said the National Government has recognised the importance of infrastructure development which is stipulated in the National Development Strategy Objectives;
1: Sustained and inclusive economic growth, and under the Medium Term Strategy and;
3: Expand and upgrade weather resilient infrastructure and utilities focused on access to productive resources and markets and to essential services.
“The Government redirection policy also prioritise infrastructure as an important component in keeping our economy afloat and ensuring a resilient economic recovery post COVID-19,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the need for reliable, effective and high quality infrastructure is magnified by the undeniable challenge of the country’s geography.
He said it is even more challenging by our susceptibility to natural disasters and climate change.
However, Prime Minister Sogavare said what is irrefutable is that our economy cannot accelerate or reach even half its potential with the existing infrastructure that we have, and this must be addressed aggressively.
“Infrastructure development is important for economic development and recovery in any country, and this is also true for Solomon Islands,” he said.
The Prime Minister said infrastructure development does not only enhance connectivity but it also plays a fundamental role in trade facilitation.
Prime Minister Sogavare said it is also a catalyst for development and an enabler for faster and inclusive growth which leads to poverty alleviation and improving standards of living.
“Development in transport infrastructure also impacts productivity significantly and accelerates growth. It generates employment opportunities, contributes to tourism and domestic market development,” he said.
Prime Minister Sogavare said infrastructure forms the basis of building resilient societies and sustainable development.
He said infrastructure designs and investments made now will affect how Solomon Islands responds to challenges such as COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and building inclusive and resilient societies.
“Infrastructure will play an important role in post pandemic recovery efforts due to its multiplier effects. In the same vein, infrastructure projects are pivotal because it helps facilitate the provision of essential services such as water, sanitation, health care and education post COVID-19,” he said.
Prime Minister Sogavare said the Government remains committed to infrastructure development in Solomon Islands and will continue to support the infrastructure development initiatives undertaken by our various development partners and implementing agencies, especially during this global pandemic.