Friday, 13 March 2009 3:15 PM

Companies Bill Key to Long Term Growth: Minister Hilly

The Government's introduction of the Companies Bill 2009 in parliament this week is a significant step for long term economic growth in Solomon Islands.

Minister of Commerce, Employment and Industries, Hon. Francis Billy Hilly, tabled the bill on Wednesday this week after changes were made to correct minor errors detected in the bill last week.

The government has acknowledged that the country's economic growth continues to be slowed in the face of a rapidly growing population, putting much pressure on limited national resources.

The Minister said in the short to medium term, Solomon Islands will continue to face enormous economic challenges, exacerbated by the current global economic crises.

"There is understandable pressure on leaders of this country to create great opportunities for our people, the majority who live in rural areas," said Mr. Hilly. "Employment opportunities must be created together with improved delivery of services including health and education."

The government has responded to this growing need to increase employment opportunities by establishing key structural reforms, which included a review of the existing company laws.

The laws are out dated - hampering foreign investment and slowing down economic growth.

"The review of our company laws is an important component of such structural economic reforms," Mr. Hilly said. "In this day and age, the Solomon Islands need to compete aggressively in terms of presenting itself as a viable destination for investors".

Minister Hilly said the introduction of the Companies Bill 2009 is a significant step forward in attracting the kinds of investments that can create more jobs and sustain the growth of the economy in the medium to long term.

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