31 Mar 2009

Solomon Islands announces boost in foreign investment

9:33 pm on 31 March 2009

The Solomon Islands gvernment has announced a boost in foreign investment, two years after the Foreign Investment Act 2005 came into force.

A total of 248 new foreign investors registered their businesses in the country in 2007 and 2008 respectively.

In 2007, 126 applications were approved; of which 75% started operations, while in 2008, 122 applications were approved; of which 50% already into active operation.

Minister for Commerce, Industries and Employment, Francis Billy Hilly, says the boost was a direct result of the significant legislative reforms government has undertaken to relax previous challenges faced by foreign investors.

He says government generated revenue of 250 million US dollars in 2007 and 70 million US dollars in 2008 from Foreign Investment.

The investments are mainly in agriculture, fisheries, forestry, construction and engineering sectors.

Minister Hilly also explained that wholesaling and retailing is no longer a reserved commercial activity under the 2005 Foreign Investment Act.

As result, 26 foreign investors took up wholesaling and retailing in 2007, and 65 in 2008.