Monday, 10 September 2007 8:59 AM

Lilo Speaks on Govt. Reform

Minister of Finance, Gordon Lilo, told a visiting Trade Mission team from Taiwan that the government is serious in its effort to reform the legal and regulatory structure in the country.

Lilo said that such reforms will make it easier to do business in the Solomon Islands.

Mr Lilo also stated that the government will seek to introduce competition in key sectors and, more importantly, open up the Solomon Islands economy to the world.

He said one of major results of the reform is the implementation of the new Foreign Investment Act which reduces the processing time for approving new foreign investments from several months to just 5 days.

"As a result planned new foreign investment has soared four fold since the Act came into effect in June last year," he said.

The reduction in time from a number of months to just 5 days in most cases is something that many countries, including Australia and New Zealand, are still a long way off achieving.

Mr Lilo said the whole aim of the Government's extensive raft of economic reforms - past, current and future - is to create the economic environment necessary for a broad-based economy and for broad-based growth.

"Full implementation of all these reforms will be essential if the country is to address its challenges and bring the economic prosperity that its people deserve," he said.

The Taiwan Trade Mission visit to Solomon Islands is the first of its kind and will open up more opportunities for foreign investment in the country.

Mr Lilo encouraged the trade mission to facilitate more investors from Taiwan to invest in Solomon Islands.