Western province leaders look and learn in Singapore

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By Mike Puia

Gizo

WESTERN provincial leaders took the chance to refresh their ideas on how to move the province forward after their look and learn visit to Singapore.

The provincial delegation was led by the Premier, Wayne Maepio. Premier Maepio was accompanied by his deputy, the provincial secretary and treasurer, the minister for commerce and minister for finance and an energy consultant.

Provincial secretary, Jeffery Wickham said their visit was mainly to learn about Singapore’s energy sector.

Mr Wickham said the energy sector is an area the province is keen to explore as it is interested to be involved in fuel distribution in the province.

During the visit, he said they had meetings with people who are involved in Singapore’s petroleum refinery and distribution.

Wickham said during the visit they also looked at other areas of interest to the province including housing, investment, tourism and agro-forestry.

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On housing, the province is interested to rent out houses in its land across the province for rent at affordable rates. Currently, the province only builds houses in its land in Noro.

On investment, the province is interested to develop programmes that would attract big investors than waiting for investors to go to the province.

Wickham said tourism is another key area they also looked at during the visit.

He said the province looks to promote the people private partnership arrangement as a way to boost the sector.

For agro-forestry, Wickham revealed the province intends to go into tree replanting. There is already an intention to turn Vagunu oil palm plantation into a tree-replanting site.

Wickham said the province would set up entities to take care of each of the areas the province identifies and wants to develop.

He said everything they learnt during the trip would be included in a report to be presented to the provincial executive.

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