20 Feb 2017

Solomons businesses keen on reopening of development bank

6:52 pm on 20 February 2017

Businesses in Solomon Islands are keen for the country's Development Bank to be re-established.

The Development Bank of Solomon Islands stopped operating more than a decade ago following civil unrest which resulted in mass loan defaults.

The Honiara Central Market known by locals as the "Main Market"

The Honiara Central Market known by locals as the "Main Market" Photo: RNZ Koroi Hawkins

The secretary of a cabinet sub-committee set up to look into reopening the bank, Mckinnie Dentana, says there's been support for the proposal at international, national and provincial levels.

Mr Dentana says work is underway to ensure a new Development Bank is on a good footing before it begins trading.

He says this includes designing appropriate financial products and services, cost analysis and stronger legislation.

Point Cruz Wharf in Honiara

Point Cruz Wharf in Honiara Photo: RNZ Koroi Hawkins

The Development Bank of Solomon Islands was set up in 1978 to help cattle farmers and others involved in agriculture but later extended its service to other entrepreneurs.

Financial capital was provided to developing businesses with little or no collateral.

Mr Dentana says there's a need for new government initiatives to expand access to finance because access to credit has been limited to Honiara and some provincial capitals.

Downtown Honiara

Downtown Honiara Photo: Koroi Hawkins RNZI

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