The Asian Development Bank A-D-B welcomes the passing of a new Companies Act in the Solomon Islands.

The bill is expected to make it easier for local people to conduct business in the island nation.

A-D-B supported the drafting of the bill, which was prepared following extensive local consultations in Honiara and the provinces.

Regional Director of A-D-B's Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office in Sydney, Australia, Eugenue Zhukov says the new, user-friendly Companies Act will allow individuals in the provinces to form and operate companies without having to travel to the capital, Honiara.

The new Act supports the formation of single shareholder companies, and introduces the concept of community companies.

A community company may comprise of a women's group, a group of farmers, or landowner groups, among others.

ADB's Senior Private Sector Development Specialist, Winfried Wicklein says A-D-B will support the full implementation of the Companies Act to ensure the benefits are enjoyed by all those pursuing business activities in Solomon Islands.

A-D-B is also supporting company law reform initiatives in Tonga and Vanuatu.