BY PRIESTLEY HABRU
RICK Houenipwela is attending the 10th Australia Solomon Islands Business Forum in Australia for the first time in his capacity as the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands.
Returning from a successful 49th Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru last week, PM Hou is one of the speakers in the two days forum which begins this afternoon in Brisbane.
He is expected to speak on the sustainability of the business partnership between the two countries despite the change of leadership in the Australian Federal Government.
The forum which gets underway at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre marks 40 years of Australia Solomon Islands business partnership.
This partnership has given Australia business opportunities in areas such as infrastructure, services, tourism development, sustainable forestry, agri-industry and fisheries.
According to co-organisers Australia Pacific Islands Business Council, the partnership offers Australia’s mining companies to be positioning themselves for possible growth in the mining sector in gold, nickel and bauxite.
“Construction of a new undersea fibre-optic communications cable will shortly commence between Australia and Solomon Islands and will provide additional business opportunities when it is completed in late-2019.”
Other speakers in the forum includes, Minister of Development Planning and Aid Coordination, Jeremiah Manele, Minister of Mines and Rural Electrification Bradley Tovosia and Advisor to Governor’s Office of the Central Bank of Solomon Islands Dr Luke Forau.
The Australia Solomon Islands Business Forum, hosted by the Australia Pacific Islands Business Council in partnership with the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry, brings together senior Australian and Solomon Islands business and government representatives to hear and discuss information on current issues relating to doing business in the Solomon Islands.
Last year this event was held in Honiara, Solomon Islands, and attracted over 150 participants.