24 Nov 2003

EU funds aimed at boosting Solomons export sector

5:34 pm on 24 November 2003

The charge d'affaires of the EU delegation in Honiara says the majority of the EU's 100-million US dollar assistance to Solomon Islands will be aimed at stablising the country's export earnings.

The assistance was announced at an International Donors' meeting in Honiara last week.

Dr Hendrik Smets says 50 million dollars is earmarked for rural development and another 2.7 will be used to construct five wharves.

Dr Smets says the EU will also be creating a transport master plan in conjunction with the Solomons government.

However, he says none of the assistance has been set aside for budget support yet.

"For the moment, the conditions for budget support are not yet fulfilled. For that we must ask that a structural adjustment programme is underway either by one of the international financing institutions, like the IMF, the World Bank or the ADB."

Dr Hendrik Smets.