Monday, 21 April 2008 7:54 AM

Solomon Islands Economy Expects to Grow: CBSI Governor Hou

Solomon Islands economy expects to grow this year and the years ahead.

Governor of Central Bank Rick Hou says this is based on last year's national economic performance.

He says economic activities in various sectors have improved and will continue to improve and has the potential to keep the economy growing.

Mr. Hou says major foreign income earners are continuing their activities and are expanding while others are coming on line in the next few years.

He says Solomon Islands achieved economic growth through exports and employment provided by Guadalcanal Plains Palm Oil Limited, cocoa and copra, logs and fish.

Mr. Hou the next big foreign income earner will be Gold ridge which is expected to start producing gold towards the end of 2009.

He says another foreign income earner yet to be fully tapped by Solomon Islands is tourism.

Mr. Hou says fish exports have not been improved because the only fish products exporter Soltai Fishing and Processing Company is having some difficulties.

Meanwhile, he says if impediments hindering full potential foreign earnings from all exportable commodities are addressed domestically, Solomon Islands economy can achieve major economic growths in the next few years.

"One of the problems faced by producers is transportation and marketing of their produce. Some of the farmers produce their copra and cocoa, but have to wait for weeks to ship them to Honiara."

Mr. Hou says other challenges are land disputes and the need to produce quality products.

He says over the years called for political stability to encourage investment, tourism and proper running of commercial activities by the private sector.