11 Nov 2003

Australian academic sounds warning about investment in Solomon Islands

12:05 pm on 11 November 2003

An Australian academic says investors considering spending money in Solomon Islands need assurance that they will have long term access to land.

Dr Satish Chand, from the Australian National University, says without this the Australian-led intervention in the country will be a costly failure because it will not attract the necessary foreign investment.

Dr Chand says any real growth in the country has to come through the agricultural sector and the main impediment to such development is property rights.

Dr Chand says investors need to know they will not lose the money they spend on land, including on roads, ports and other infrastructure.

He says rather than ownership the investor is more concerned with ensuring access.

"For that to happen, we would have to have a partnership between the landowners and the investors in an environment where you have fairly secure property rights and where you have a fairly strong state which is then able to enforce whatever agreements are being made."