Solutions to address local content issue in infrastructure.

Economic Association of Solomon Islands President, Reuben Tovutovu
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ECONOMIC Association of Solomon Islands (EASI) has suggested some solutions to address the local content issues in infrastructures in the country.

This was after a study carried out between 2005-2017 states that about USD$490 million have gone through the country in infrastructure projects.

EASI President, Reuben Tovutovu asked “What are some benefits to the local contents?”

Tovutovu said infrastructure is key to grow the economy.

However, Tovutovu said some of the challenges is capacity issue.

“When you bid for international projects, you are competing with big players in region and world.

“How can you compete with them, some of them have been competing in all the continents,” he added.

“Not only financials but human resources.

“Some machines you need to build road, wharves and bridges cost millions of dollars,” he said.

Tovutovu said the way forward are:

  1. Serious need to identify opportunities to improve procurement practices that can facilitate local content in infrastructure implementation and delivery in the country.
  2. Need to deliver a greater understanding of the costs and benefits from local contents in the implementation of infrastructure in the country.
  3. Infrastructure policy needed a plan on how local content can be rolled out over next 10 years, example, how much percent of all infrastructure projects to be local contents starting with 30 percent in year 1 to 40percent to 50 percent in year 10.

Tovutovu said in the way local constructors will have confidence to invest in new and expensive equipment and machines and hire qualified manpower

He suggested to make it compulsory through policy that by year 10 of the plan, at least 50 percent of the workforce are locals