Friday, 13 March 2009 1:33 PM

Government Introduces New Companies Bill 2009

A Companies Bill is urgently needed to provide a solid and necessary base for the growth of our private sector, said the Minister for Commerce, Employment and Industries, Francis Billy Hilly.

"We need to galvanize the private sector as much as we can as it will provide an engine for growth in the overall economy," Minister Hilly said when tabling the bill on Wednesday.

He stressed that the current Companies act no longer provides the legal environment for business to operate efficiently and does not provide for the changing nature of modern business transactions in a country such as the Solomons.

Cross border transactions and increasing use of modern technology has evolved the way transactions are applied, raising the need for more appropriate legislation which supports the present and future Solomon Islands, he said.

The Minister said that the current legislation based on the 1948 UK Act is very old and irrelevant, "the limitations in the current legislation is difficult to fix because in doing so will only add more confusion and more difficulties."

He said the best solution is to introduce a new law tailored to meet the needs of the people of Solomon Islands.

Minister Hilly said the problems being highlighted basically discourage or stop Solomon Islanders from starting new business or expanding existing ones, "this is why Solomon Islanders choose to operate informally and miss out on the benefits of being part of the formal economy."