BY LORETTA BRIGIDIA MANELE
THE country’s new craft market centre would not be a reality if not for the collaboration and partnership between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Tourism, Taiwan and development partners.
Trade Commissioner for the Foreign Affairs and External Trade ministry, Joseph Ma’ahanua highlighted this whilst giving his remarks at the opening ceremony of the craft market centre on November 2 at the Art Gallery.
He congratulated all government officials and the private sector for working tirelessly to accomplish what he terms a “milestone achievement”.
Ma’ahanua said the occasion marks the result of collaboration and partnership between ministries, Taiwan, development partners through the Enhance Integrated Framework program and private sector.
He also commended Enhanced Integrated Framework program of the World Trade Organisation for their support through the Solomon Islands Tourism for Inclusive Development project (SI-TIDE) which was the first pilot project for Solomon Islands under the EIF project in Solomon Islands.
Ma’ahanua explained that as WTO member and an LDC, Solomon Islands benefited from the Enhanced Integrated Framework program, an Aid for Trade initiative of the World Trade Organisation.
He said in 2012 and 2013, his ministry was the implementing agency of the EIF project in Solomon Islands and worked with the Ministry of Tourism to develop a project proposal.
Ma’ahanua added that the proposal was approved towards the end of 2013 and rolled out of financial and technical support in 2014.
“The proposal supported various activities of the Ministry of culture and Tourism, SIVB and few local eco-tourism operators including the development of this handy craft centre,” he said.
On another note, Ma’ahanua said the handy craft centre will be a permanent home for carvers, weavers, painters and artists in general.
He emphasized that for too long our women have displayed their products under the rain and heat hence the new market centre is fitting to relieve them of the sun’s soaring heat and the cold that ascends with the rain.
Ma’ahanua calls on them to make good and full use of the new building complex and take ownership and responsibility to keep it clean and tidy.
He furthered expressed his gratitude towards the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Culture and Tourism for being effective partners in this venture.
Ma’ahanua extended his appreciation to the Republic of China (ROC), Taiwan for their support.
“I wish to sincerely thank ROC (Republic of China) Taiwan, for stepping in to support us financially in the completion of this project,” he said.