The 11th Australia-Solomon Islands Business Forum is set to get underway in Honiara this week from Wednesday 11 September to Thursday 12 September 2019.

The two-day forum, hosted by the Australia Pacific Islands Business Council (APIBC) and the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI), brings together senior Australian and Solomon Islands business people and government representatives to be updated and discuss developments related to doing business in Solomon Islands.

The 11th Australia-Solomon Islands Business Forum this year has the theme ‘Partnership for shared prosperity’.

This year, delegates had the opportunity for a pre-forum visit to the Western Province from 7-10 September 2019.

This optional part of the forum, enabled forum delegates to gain an understanding of business and economic developments planned and currently taking place in Western Solomon Islands at Munda and Noro. This visit utilised the recently commenced direct Brisbane to Munda service operated by Solomon Airlines.

Participants received on the ground briefings on tourism and business developments taking place in Munda and Noro including visits to a sustainable forestry operation, Noro Port and Soltuna cannery.

All forum delegates travelling from Australia arrived in Honiara before Tuesday 10th September 2019 with an opening cocktail reception hosted by the Australian High Commission in Solomon Islands on evening of the same day.

Day 1 on Wednesday 11 September will start with welcome remarks by SICCI Chairman, Mr Jay Bartlett along with APIBC President, Mr Gary Clifford.

This will be followed by the keynote address by Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Hon Manasseh Sogavare and Ms Sally-Anne Vincent, Acting High Commissioner for Australia High Commission in Solomon Islands.

The two-day forum will feature speakers, sessions and updates that will be invaluable for those currently doing business in Solomon Islands or those looking to do so.

There will be a total of eight sessions with four sessions in each day covering a number of areas of interest and possible growth including trade and investment, mining, economy, law, governance, tourism, agriculture and infrastructure.

There will also be sessions covering Solomon Islands elections, Solomon Islanders in the Australian Labour Market, the role of banks in financing economic and business growth and young entrepreneurs in the Solomon Islands.

Day One after the opening remarks, will feature an ‘Economic Overview with the key presenters Mr Denton Rarawa, Governor of the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) and Dr Kishti Sen, an Economist from the ANZ Banking Group.

Session two will feature discussions on the ‘Role of commercial banks in financing economic and business growth’ in a panel setting, and then presentations to the theme of ‘Perspectives on Solomon Islands election’ which will feature Police Commissioner Matthew Varley, and Mr James Batley plus a local business person.

Session three on ‘Investing in Solomon Islands’ will include presentations from the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration. Session four will be on ‘Mining and Resources Policy Update of Government’ ending with ‘Young Guns: Solomon Islands Young Entrepreneurs’ where Mr Brown Thompson, Mr Limahl Totogi and Ms Betty Akao will be featured as YECSI member companies.

Session five and six continues on Day Two. There will be a panel of high-level speakers lined up to speak on the topics ‘Financing infrastructure for sustainable economic growth’ and ‘Developing infrastructure for sustainable economic growth’.

Session seven will focus on ‘Growing Solomon Islands’ agriculture’ and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and stakeholders of the tourism industry will present on ‘Opportunities and Challenges in developing Solomon Islands tourism’.

The final session of the 11th Australia-Solomon Islands Business Forum will focus on ‘Solomon Islanders in the Australian Labour Market’.

SICCI Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ms Atenasi Ata says the Chamber values its partnership with the Australia Pacific Islands Business Council in providing an opportunity for businesses and government representatives from both countries to come together, to connect with established business colleagues and learn about new business opportunities.

APIBC exists to build effective business relationships between Australia and Solomon Islands private sector to support trade and investment between the two countries and ultimately, contribute to greater economic growth for Solomon Islands.

-SICCI Media