PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare had the opportunity to address key members of the business community in Solomon Islands on relevant Policy, enhanced partnership and respond to the Private Sector Pathway to COVID-19 Recovery Strategy submitted to his Government earlier this year.
This was during a Prime Minister’s Business Breakfast on Friday 21st May, 2021 hosted by the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI).
The event is an initiative under the MoU between Government and the private sector which presents the opportunity for SICCI members to engage directly with the country’s leadership and also creates a platform for the Prime Minister engage to directly with tax payers.
Delivering his keynote address, Prime Minister Sogavare said such occasion provides a space where we can discuss common but important issues and objectives that is pertinent to business development and overall growth in the country.
“The current global pandemic underscores the important role that this kind of discussion plays in nurturing and strengthening the partnership between the Government and the private sector in mapping out the appropriate policies, strategies and legislations to ensure economic recovery following the adverse effects of COVID-19 in 2020,” he said.
The Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) acknowledges that the private sector is the engine of growth, primarily because real economic growth hinges on the creation of and earnings from goods and/or services.
As the world “motors” out of the pandemic, private sector development will be vital, especially since many sectors will emerge decimated.
“The Government agrees that for sustained economic development, the private sector needs space to unleash its entrepreneurial potential through creativity and flexibility for innovative solutions.
“In this regard, it is only right that the private sector, Government, and civil society, with crucial assistance from international development partners, proactively participate in accelerating and strengthening the recovery process,” the Prime Minister said.
In response, Board Chairman of SICCI, Ricky Fuo’o highlighted that the relationship between SICCI and Government needs to function beyond political and commercial interests “and underpinned by our commitment to rebuild this great nation, to provide opportunities for our people and to fully realize our growth potential.”
Fuo’o said SICCI’s continuous emphasis on partnership with Government and development partners is crucial for growing business that will impact economic growth.
He assured the Prime Minister that SICCI members have affirmed their willingness to work with Government to support inclusive economic development.
“We all play a major role in supporting Solomon Islands’ aspirations to achieve more inclusive economic development by investing in the productive capacity of the country and creating jobs to benefit Solomon Islanders,” the SICCI Chair said.
Fuo’o said it is clear that development cannot occur without any partnership with the private sector.
“As stated many times before, the private sector is the engine of economic growth.
“The development of the private sector directly links to the decisions and policy of the Government that encourages growth and creating a conducive environment for businesses to thrive, innovate and compete.
“I believe the 2021 Prime Minister’s Business Breakfast is timely and relevant in the context of current events. It is timely as the world continuous to navigate through one of the most devastating global pandemics of our generation,” he said.
Fuo’o also took the opportunity to acknowledge Prime Minister Hon Sogavare for yet again demonstrating the Government’s and his personal support to the Private Sector.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister used the occasion to announce that Government will now provide budgetary support to SICCI by including this in each year’s National Budget under the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration.
“I reassure you all that the Government values and is committed to this partnership and as a testament to this commitment the Government will now support SICCI as well,” Sogavare told members of the business community during the Breakfast event.