A new 'Honiara Shopping Mall' will soon be under construction at the former Guadalcanal Province headquarters site.

The site was officially launched with a ground-breaking ceremony yesterday.

Developer, Korean Enterprises Ltd., promises "the largest retail and commercial building in Solomon Islands", which will 'upgrade' the image of the capital city.

The developer's general manager, Durk Kee Kim, said the shopping mall will be providing employment "from the very beginning to the end".

"This shopping mall will create job opportunities and is expected to boost the economy of Solomon Islands," Mr. Kim said.

Designed by Pacific Architect Limited, the three-storey building will cover 10,000 square meters and will be constructed in two stages over an expected period of 15 months.

It is expected that the new shopping mall will be an attraction for visitors to Honiara.

The building is expected to house shopping units, restaurants, commercial offices, banking services, diplomatic offices and an eatery.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Honiara City Mayor, Alfred Maetia, said the establishment of a shopping complex is an advantage to the Council on its aims and objectives for the city's facelift.

Mr. Maetia added that the shopping mall will provide employment for some 60% unemployed citizens in Honiara.

He urged the public to respect the progress of constructing the building, and called on everyone to "respect the shopping mall once completed".

The Honiara City Mayor congratulated the Korean Enterprises for taking such an initiative that will help upgrade the city.

Mr. Maetia described Mr. Kim's partnership with the Solomons as "a sign of business confidence".