30 Jul 2010

New shipping subsidies open opportunities for remote islands in Solomons

3:29 pm on 30 July 2010

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Development in Solomon Islands says new funding to boost shipping to remote islands will encourage economic growth.

Three private operators have been awarded five franchise routes, under a plan to create regular shipping services to commercially unviable destinations.

The project is co-financed by the Asian Development Bank, the European Union and the Solomon Islands Government.

The Secretary of the Ministry, John Ta'aru, says there are expectations the remote islands will export more, particularly fish.

"We're hoping to see that marine resources would be more on their priorities because their land mass is quite small, except out of Makira, where cocoa and copra are produced there."

John Ta'aru says he hopes money will flow into rural communities to help aleviate poverty.