Malaita premier warns province’s investors not to mess around
BY BEN BILUA
DONORS and investors intending to develop or invest in Malaita province are being warned to “think carefully” before doing so.
The welfare and needs of the people of Malaita are the forefront to any investment venture.
Malaita will no longer tolerate investors that aim only to exploit the province’s resources, make profit, and leave the resource owners high and dry.
Premier Daniel Suidani issued the warning yesterday in his address during the launch of a disaster programme in Honiara.
“The time is up for nontangible partnership, which has been a practice over the past years,” Suidani said.
“So many times, we heard about the need for collaborative approach to development but sadly that is often easier said than done,” he stated.
“As a government, we feel it’s important that we know what developments are taking place within our jurisdiction and how best we could be partners in such endeavours.
“We want to see appropriate partnership and one that sees our people and their needs as the key priority to be dealt with.
“MPG wants to see a more meaningful engagement than what has been seen in the past.
“We want to be partners right at the beginning of any developments and not in the middle or at the end of developments.
“This is the call that I would like to make to all those who wish to conduct developments in Malaita province,” he said.
Suidani said the Malaita Alliance for Rural Advancement (MARA) Government is pursuing restoration as an economic direction with strict policies and regulations.
He said his government has established appropriative provincial ordinances to safeguard its people and will be mindful of who is crossing into Malaita province’s jurisdiction to do business or any development.
Premier Suidani adds that the Auki Communique, sealed between MARA Government and MALAMOI council of Chiefs, signifies the new approach to any development.
“This was a historical document for the Provincial Government as it outlined its principal stands on the development of Malaita province.
“While some may say that the days for protectionism policies are over; and that protectionism policies are inhibitors to foreign direct investment, I need not remind them that any good principles are as good as the contextual realities within which these principles are applied,” he said.
Premier Suidani said Malaita Province has had its fair share of dealing with dishonest business houses which is costly to the province and that his government cautions any developments carried out by NGOs or investors to follow the same trend.
He stressed that the MARA government welcomes donor partners and investors who have integrity and respect the resources, culture and people of Malaita province.