The Secretariat of the Pacific Community, SPC, is assisting the Solomon Islands forestry industry conduct a study on the development of a market information system for the country's timbers.

The help is made possible through SPC's EU-funded Facilitating Agricultural Commodity Trade, FACT.

Salwood Asia Pacific company is conducting the study.

According to FACT Team Leader, Dr Lex Thomson, the study provides a foundation of knowledge as the basis for a market information system for Solomon Islands timber.

Dr Thomson says the study focused on identifying sources of price information for Solomon Island timbers, value-adding options and new market opportunities for Solomon Island wooden handicraft.

He says the study also looked at exploring market opportunities for blocks of specialty timbers, such as ebony and figured timbers, and gathering preliminary market intelligence and trends for Solomon Island timbers.

Dr Thomson says that FACT presently implemented one of the recommendations of the study and is currently working with Solomon Islands Marketing and Export Promotion Division, in the Ministry of Commerce to update the booklet on Handicraft of Solomon Islands.

He says the review and update of the booklet is aimed at increasing awareness of the woodcarvings available from Solomon Islands in a bid to increase sales.

Meanwhile, two enterprises from Solomon Islands to be among the 14 Pacific enterprises that FACT will support.

These enterprises are the Value Added Timber Association and Village Eco-Timber Exporters.

Both will receive technical and other assistance to improve the quality and range of their timber products.

They will also undertake greater value adding and manage their timber resources sustainably.

FACT complements efforts aimed at enhancing regional cooperation and integration.

This includes the policy commitment of the European Union under the Cotonou Agreement to facilitate the integration of Pacific African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States into the regional and global economies.