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Monday, July 10, 2006

SI government's decentralisation economic development initiative

Government has embarked on a new economic development initiative geared towards decentralisation of economic infrastructure in the country.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare says under the plan, Government will setup four economic zones in the country.

He says these zones have been identified for Choiseul, Guadalcanal, Malaita and Temotu provinces.

Mr Sogavare says these special economic zones will be developed into export oriented areas engaged in a range of economic activities including tourism.

He says the concept of this approach is to address decentralisation of development infrastructure to other parts of the country other than on Guadalcanal.

The Prime Minister says this is but one of the 13 demands by the people Guadalcanal which succeeding Governments have not seriously addressed.

Mr Sogavare says Government will be compiling a legislation allowing the Minister responsible to declare the development of these economic zones.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare reveals that a private overseas consortium wants to invest one-point- two billion dollars in Solomon Islands.

The Prime Minister says the private group from Australia, United States of America and Europe had already registered its interest in doing so during preliminary talks with Government officials.

Mr Sogavare says such investment is in-line with government's new economic policy initiative to develop four specific zones to booster business centres.

He says succeeding governments have failed to address the issue of decentralisation of economic development to other parts of the country instead of concentration in one central area such as on Guadalcanal.

Mr Sogavare says the reason Governments of the past failed to address the concept was because they took the burden of financing the concept on themselves or the aid donors who don't have the money to do it.

The Prime Minister says his government will resolve this long delayed concept through active private sector led approach.

He says under government's new initiative, it will allow the private sector to invest into economic development activities in specific zones.

Mr Sogavare says these developments will help stimulate economic progress and advancement.

source: SIBC Online (http://www.sibconline.com.sb/)

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