Success in the Pacific is fundamentally built and underpinned by partnerships and beneficial relationships.

Chair of the Board of the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI), Mr Jay Bartlett made the statement during his opening remarks at the 11th Australia Solomon Islands Business Forum which got underway in Honiara on Wednesday 11th September 2019.

Mr Bartlett says SICCI values its partnership with the Australia Pacific Islands Business Council (APIBC) in delivering this annual Business Forum which is now entering its 11th successive year.

The theme for this year’s Australia Solomon Islands Business Forum is ‘Partnerships for shared prosperity’.

The two-day forum, hosted by APIBC and SICCI, brings together senior executives from Australian and Solomon Islands businesses and government representatives to be updated and discuss developments related to doing business in Solomon Islands.

“Both our countries share an enduring relationship that is underpinned by our shared values. Australia’s development program supports a broad number of sectors including health, education, justice, infrastructure, law and order and private sector development,” SICCI Chair, Mr Bartlett, said.

Mr Bartlett said SICCI represent the voice of business and plays a key role in harmonizing, advocating and elevating issues of key concern.

“Beyond our mandated role and corporate imperatives, SICCI is more than that – we represent an emerging cohort in leadership, thinking and innovation. We also represent an inter-generational transition in leadership that have come through the private sector ranks and are contributing to current political and business landscape,” Mr Bartlett told the Forum delegates.

He said in the country, the Chamber is bridging both the inter-generational leadership intermission and in reshaping the undervalued cohesion that exists between Government and business.

“To see the Business Forum consisting of both business leaders and high-level Government officials is extremely encouraging.”

SICCI also acknowledged the presence of Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare, who delivered the keynote address along with Ms Sally-Anne Vincent, Acting High Commissioner for the Australia High Commission in Solomon Islands.

Mr Bartlett stated that the advantage Solomon Islands has is in its strategic position in the region which is yet to be fully appreciated and capitalized, reiterating that there is the opportunity to be a central hub for Aviation through to Shipping.

“It is relatively easy to visit Solomon Islands and see the potholes, the lack of facilities. I believe these negative facades unfortunately obscure people’s perception against the deep underlying vision we have for our country to be markedly more than these misfortunes.

“Solomon Islands is the new frontier relatively untapped and I believe great potential for success awaits those who have the time and same outlook as us,” Mr Bartlett said.

The 11th Australia Solomon Islands Business Forum concludes Thursday 12th September.

The Forum will feature speakers in sessions and updates critical for those currently doing business in Solomon Islands or those looking to do so.

At the end of Day 1, all delegates were hosted to the Business Forum Cocktail and Dinner function. Day 2 will feature speakers on Financing Infrastructure for Sustainable Economic Growth; Developing Infrastructure for Sustainable Economic Growth; Growing Solomon Islands Agriculture; Opportunities and Challenges in Developing Solomon Islands Tourism; and concluding with Solomon Islanders in the Australian Labour Market.

-SICCI Media