PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare has acknowledged the important role played by the private sector, both domestic and foreign investors.
Speaking during the motion in response to His Excellency the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, the Prime Minister said the private sector is an important sector that continues to ensure the survival of the country through thick and thin.
“They fund the national budget through their taxes. They measure their success by the level of profit they make,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the Government is fully conscience of the fact that the greatest need of the private sector is a friendly investment environment.
Prime Minister Sogavare said an environment where the cost of doing business is reasonable and where the cost of Government in the form statutory dues and levies are properly priced.
“And where laws are fairly administered; where public servants do not take advantage of the vulnerability of genuine investors,” he said.
The Prime Minister adds that the vulnerability of genuine investors has always been a problematic area.
“We are hearing cases where public servants compromise their integrity in taking advantage of investors who found themselves at their mercy. I want to encourage investors who find themselves in this situation to report such cases,” he said.
Prime Minister Sogavare said the Government is pursuing reforms in the key sectors including forestry, mining, taxation, financial, and foreign investment.
He said the Government will endeavour to bring the new Forestry and Mining Acts to Parliament during this meeting.
Prime Minister Sogavare also said work on the Special Economic Zone legislation is progressing very well and should be brought before parliament as soon as it is ready.
The Prime Minister said the Development Bank of Solomon Islands is already up and running.
He said a number of important tax bills should be ready for presentation to Parliament during this meeting.
“The government considers the Public, Private Partnership arrangement to be the way forward in getting major development project implemented. One such project is the Mamara Housing and hotel development project,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the DCGA is fully committed to the partnership with the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industries.