New Crafts Market Centre to open in Honiara

The newly built Crafts Market Centre at Mendana Avenue, next to National Art Gallery, Honiara. Photo from GCU
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The newly built Crafts Market Centre at Mendana Avenue, next to National Art Gallery, Honiara. Photo from GCU

THE Ministry of Culture and Tourism will officially open the newly built Crafts Market Centre in Honiara tomorrow.

The Centre is to cater for the exhibitions and sales of local traditional handicrafts by our cultural producers and entrepreneurs.

This is part of strengthening and building the cultural industries sector in Solomon Islands.

Director of Culture and Tourism, Denis Marita said the crafts market centre will basically be used by our local handicrafts producers and entrepreneurs.

“Consideration will be given to arts and cultural associations engaged in the cultural industries sector, whereby their members can benefit through the provision of a conducive environment to market and promote their art and cultural products,” Marita said.

He said the centre will help to contribute to the country’s economy thru the cultural industries and tourism sectors.

“The handicrafts sector is also a niche market for tourism which can also be seen as part of the Culture Tourism Economy.”

Marita added Solomon Islands handicrafts and local artistic work have been rated as some of the best in world and as such, the need for a proper venue to harness the development and growth of this sector is deemed as an urgent priority.

“Currently, our unique handicraft and cultural products are displayed on street pavements and on the ground, subsequently degrading the value and respect for these authentic works of art and culture.

“The country needs a conducive and pleasant environment where our authentic products can be displayed with honour and dignity,” he said.

Marita said the crafts market centre will be run and maintained by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

“Local cultural producers and Entrepreneurs will direct benefit from this centre through the sale of their products.

“Users will be paying rent to the government for its usage and as such provides direct revenue income for the government.”

The Crafts Market Centre project was initiated back in 2015 in a partnership approach between two ministries (Ministry of Culture & Tourism & Ministry of Foreign Affairs & External Trade) through the EIF/ EU Programme and co-funded by the Republic of China Taiwan.

In 2016 a concept plan for a Crafts market Centre was acquired through public tender and in late 2017 construction on the New Crafts Market Centre commenced.

The centre took exactly one year to build. The total cost of construction is around $10 million. The building contractor is Ropiko Enterprises Ltd.