Tuesday, 11 March 2008 10:54 AM

PM Sikua Secures Fisheries Deal With Taiwan

Solomon Islands and Taiwan will soon engage in a fisheries trade deal secured during Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua's recent visit to Taiwan.

Prime Minister Sikua on Friday said Solomon Islands will now start to engage with Taiwan in a more strategic approach to ensure Taiwanese assistance is utilized in areas that will grow the local economy.

The deal marks the beginning of the new strategic engagement between the two countries.

Dr Sikua said a group of Taiwanese businessmen will visit Solomon Islands in few weeks to explore prospects to establish trade in marine products with local fishermen.

"A group of Taiwanese businessmen interested in trading reef fish, lobsters and other marine products will be here in the next few weeks to explore arrangements to buy fresh marine products from our local fishermen and ship them to Taiwan," Dr Sikua said.

The group, mainly from the Southern Taiwanese industrial city of Kaohsiung is interested in establishing a direct trade route from Kaohsiung to Honiara where vessels will ship quality Taiwanese products to Honiara and return with fresh marine products to Taiwan.

The group also indicated interest to air freight local fisheries products to the Guam market.

"They are not going to do fishing but they are coming to explore the possibility of buying fish from local fishermen to take back to Taiwan or airfreight them to Guam where they have markets," Dr Sikua said.

Dr Sikua said other Taiwanese business groups have also expressed interest to establish trade and investment in bio-fuel, re-forestation and eco-tourism.