Colourful parade starts National Trade Show
A colourful float parade officially commenced activities for the one-week National Trade and Cultural Show.
The parade, which started from Kukum Campus field to Town Ground, attracted about 20 companies and organisations.
It was led by the Royal Solomon Islands Police band.
The float parade precedes the official opening of the trade show, which was officiated by Commerce, Employment and Trade Minister Peter Shanel the at Town Ground.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare was also present at the official opening.
This year's National Trade and Cultural Show is being held coinciding with events marking the Coconut Day and Women's week.
Commerce, Industries and Employment Minister Peter Chanel Agovaka says the government strongly supports the private sector.
Mr Agovaka says the government is committed to realise the economic potential of the country's rich natural resources and unique cultures.
But he says without the support and cooperation of the private sector and the civil society, these cannot be realised.
Mr Agovaka says there are challenges in high production, transportation and telecommunications costs as well as distance from world markets.
However, the Minister says globalisation means Solomon Islands must be more competitive. He says this is an unavoidable fact, and thorough preparation is the way forward.
The Minister made the comment during his speech to launch the 2006 Trade show yesterday morning.
Meanwhile, the office of the National Council of Women has urged women taking part in the National Trade and Cultural Show to think beyond the activities from which they earn income.
The Council office says women should work in partnership with other women and to learn to appreciate each others differences.
Delivering a speech yesterday morning to more then 60 women's groups and individuals taking part in the show, Council's General Secretary Ella Kauhue told women not to undermine themselves.
She says women's role in society is diverse, demanding and huge. Ms Kauhue says the show is an opportunity for women to show their creativity, leadership and capability as contributors to both the family and national growth.
The national women's week which coincides with the show is an opportunity to expose the activities of women.
The week-long event is an occasion for the women to display their creativity and skills in areas such as handicrafts, floral arrangements and food preparation.