The Solomon Islands Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration says it is investigating allegations that foreigners are finding ways of running businesses reserved for indigenous people.
Solomon Islands’ law lists sectors such as public transport, takeaway food shops and tourism, as set aside for the indigenous population.
A number of civil society groups and non-government organisations have claimed Chinese immigrants have used money to coerce indigenous people to register and run taxi and bus services on their behalf.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration, Heinz Vaekesa, says the ministry is investigating the issue.
“We do have some lead information that foreigners are actually coming under local business people or individuals that runs them. So they run under those business people.”
Heinz Vaekesa says his office, which issues company licences has so far not found any foreigners who have registered to run businesses reserved for indigenous people.