Foreign Minister Jerry Manele (left), Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Fisheries, John Maneniaru (centre) and Ambassador Shigeru Toyama at the signing ceremony on Friday. Photo from Government Communication Unit
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Japan and Solomon Islands sign fisheries support agreement


FISHERIES and the country’s economy are set to get a boost with Japan’s latest assistance for us.

The Governments of Japan and Solomon Islands have formalised a Grant Aid Agreement to support fisheries development programmes with the signing of documents in Honiara on Friday last week (July 19).

Solomon Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade Jeremiah Manele and Japanese Ambassador to Solomon Islands, HE Shigeru Toyama signed the Agreement in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Fisheries John Maneniaru and senior officials.

The Government of Japan will provide assistance worth 200 million Japanese Yen (approximately 15 million Solomon Islands Dollars) to the Government of Solomon Islands through its Economic Social Development Programme (ESDP).

The funding assistance will enable the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources to procure equipment to support development of fisheries and coastal resources management.

Minister Manele acknowledged the funding assistance saying that the project demonstrated Japan’s long and outstanding relations with Solomon Islands.

“I am thankful to the Government of Japan for your ongoing support towards the development of Solomon Islands,” Mr Manele said.

Ambassador Toyama said the Japanese Government hopes that the equipment which was committed to the project will support not only income generating activities but also good marine resource management and practices for the country.

This assistance followed the National Development Strategy 2016-2035 (NDS) of the Solomon Islands Government.

In the plan, fishery is recognised as a significant potential sector for food security and economic development in the NDS.

On the other hand, Solomon Islands faces several threats such as over-fishing and illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing for marine resource management.

Therefore, the assistance meets demands of the government. In addition, the assistance is in line with the Leaders’ Declaration at eighth (8th) Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM8), which stated that “Maritime Order based on the Rule of Law, and Sustainability of Ocean Resources”, supports Japan’s active and constructive contribution to cooperation and development in Solomon Islands, including through new initiatives such as its “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy”.

Thus, this assistance is expected to help socioeconomic development through building capacity of fisheries related sectors in the Solomon Islands.

Japan’s Economic Social Development Programme (ESDP) is a type of assistance which is intended to support the socio-economic development efforts, including poverty reduction, of developing countries.

The ESDP has a facility for providing foreign currency for import of goods, machinery and other amenities (industrial materials such as petroleum and steel products etc.) necessary to promote national development efforts of recipient countries.