Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua has praised Papua New Guinea Investors for injecting millions of dollars into the Solomon Islands economy over the last seven years.

During bilateral talks with his PNG counterpart, the Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare in Port Moresby Thursday last week, Dr Sikua said currently 23 PNG companies have invested in Solomon Islands with a value of around SB$800 million.

Prime Minister Sikua said the total investment is expected to hit SB$1 billion in 2010 as more PNG companies have expressed huge interest in investing in Solomon Islands.

"We would like to place on record, or sincere thanks and gratitude to the Government of Papua New Guinea for the confidence shown by various PNG Companies in investing in Solomon Islands," Dr Sikua said. "At present, there are about 23 PNG companies investing in Solomon Islands worth around SBD$800 million.

Since the arrival of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) in 2003, PNG Companies and Investors were the first to return to Solomon Islands.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare said it is pleasing to note that cooperation between the two countries have grown from strength to strength over the years, particularly in the area of trade and investment.

"I am proud to note that investment in Agriculture, hotel development, merchandising, engineering and telecommunications by PNG companies in Solomon Islands amount SB$800 million," he said. "I am proud to note that after the tensions in Solomon Islands when the economy was affected badly, PNG companies were among the first to show confidence in the Solomon Islands economy and its people and invested in the country".

He said PNG and Solomon Islands need each other in many ways as Melanesian brothers.

"As countries with many similar economic and social challenges, the need to cooperate with each other to share resources to address these challenges is greater and very compelling," Sir Michael reiterated.