11 Jun 2008

Solomons Forest Minister sees timber trade with Vanuatu prospering first-hand

8:28 am on 11 June 2008

The Solomon Islands Forestry Minister is pushing for the inclusion of timber in the Melanesian Spearhead Group list of tax-free items.

The Ministry of Agriculture says it would reduce the tax rate of timber to zero from the current 15 percent once timber is included in the MSG trading items list.

Sir Allan Kemakeza says this should encourage both suppliers and buyers in Melanesian countries.

The Solomon Star newspaper reports that Sir Allan has visited a Vanuatu company which has been importing his country's timber since the beginning of the year.

The Tahos Timber Company in Port Vila imports three containers of timber every two months from Lagoon Eco-timber and Bobby Ramo Timber Company in Solomon Islands.

Due to increasing demand in Vanuatu, Tahos is focusing on getting at least 10 containers of timber in future shipments to Solomon Islands.