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Friday, June 30, 2006

World Bank welcomes SI Foreign Investment Act

The World Bank Group has welcomed the Solomon Islands Foreign Investment Act which came into operation this week.

Russell Muir, lead economist for the Foreign Investment Advisory Service (FIAS) – a facility of the World Bank Group – said the Act was a significant step towards improving the investment climate in the Solomon Islands.

“It should help encourage foreign investment in the country, stimulate growth and benefit the people of Solomon Islands in the years ahead,” Mr Muir said.

The new Act is regarded as good practice in world terms for encouraging new investors to Solomon Islands.

Mr Muir said the introduction of new streamlined procedures and an encouraging policy framework meant new investment applications could now be processed in five days, instead of the previous three months.

He said the Act also provided a greater level of transparency and accountability which would help to curb corruption and give investors confidence that their applications would be treated fairly. The new Act has reduced the number of sectors banned to foreign investment from a previous 83 to 14.

Mr Muir said the new law was only one part of the economic reform agenda in the country and that bringing it into force was an encouraging sign of the commitment of the new government to this program.



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