Monday, 29 September 2008 10:04 AM

RAMSI business

RAMSI assisted economic recovery in SI can only be achieved if aid donor and SI governments and government departments team up together with business to achieve productive outcome involving development of employment for the people.

Economic growth should be measured by whole of economy productivity and not by big end of town profit including tax revenue from fuel that has doubled in price in just a few years.

To help SI it is inappropriate to point at future decline of logging revenue for government when it is the people who are already severely impacted by traditional staple fish resource devastation that has caused subsistence barter trade collapse.

RAMSI Special Coordinator Tim George says alternatives to logging need to be found but economic infrastructure resources for SI and other Pacific islands, such as new roads around and across islands, were identified years ago. Sustainable agricultural and tourism business opportunity that roads will open up does not have to be found. Build the roads!

RAMSI has exceptional opportunity to oversee improvement to the livelihood of SI people but United Nations assistance is vital. Managing the SW Pacific Ocean that is supposed to produce staple food resources for island people in a UN responsibility.

It is a great achievement already that RAMSI is shifting focus from managing the economy to engage in generation of income however RAMSI must be provided with adequate UN and donor derived resources to operate effectively as a real assistance mission.

Communication is vital to assist anyone in this day and age yet telephone costs in SI are an absolute joke, including for overseas calls costing about the highest in the world. It is absurd Australians can talk to Europe and the US for 2 cents per minute while cost to nearby SI is A.$1.20 to 1.40 per minute. And unskilled Europeans are allowed to work in Australia but not SI people, why is this so?

SI is the one that needs even a small piece of the pie as Mr George describes it (Solomon Times Online 26 Sept 2008), because Australia already has all it needs.

It is so good to learn Tim George and RAMSI are working with the Solomon Islands Government and the Chamber of Commerce to look for opportunities to improve the quality of life for the people. It is the people who are in dire urgent need.





Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of John C Fairfax and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

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