Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua last night has praised the Republic of China, Taiwan for its growing investment in Solomon Islands.

Addressing a High Profile Taiwanese Delegation to Solomon Islands led by Ambassador Lee Shieh Ming, Director General of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, Dr Sikua highlighted the latest investments including a Volunteer Scheme, Developments Funds, and a Compensation Package for Telecommunication and Renewable Solar Energy.

He said the investments demonstrated the very close ties which has been maintained and enjoyed by the two Governments and peoples since establishing diplomatic relations on 23 March 1983.

The International Cooperation Development Fund (ICDF) Volunteer Scheme which signed an agreement with the Government of Solomon Islands on 31st January 2007 has seen an increasing number of voluntary workers being dispatched to Solomon Islands in various professions.

Dr Sikua said the present government is in a process of putting together further request to the Taiwan Government for further dispatchment of voluntary workers to Solomon Islands in 2010.

The Taiwan Government also invested millions of dollars through the Constituency and Rural Development Fund" as well as the Millennium Development Funds under the CNURA Government's Rural Advancement Approach.

Taiwan, this year, also assisted the Government to compensate Our Telekom to enable the company to relinquish its monopoly.

"This move signifies again another of my Governments priorities to reform the country's telecommunication sector to ensure better telecommunication services to the country, particularly to our rural populace," Dr Sikua said.

Taiwan, last month, also funded a new office complex for Members of Parliament.

"This would be another milestone for the Solomon Islands as we invest in our democracy".

Taiwan's latest investment was in the renewable energy sector with a handing over of Solar Units for the country's 50 constituencies. Other assistance in education, health and agriculture sectors continue to grow over the years.

"These are vital sectors in our development process. We hope to be able to further strengthen our cooperation with the Republic of China (Taiwan) in these sectors," Dr Sikua said.

Prime Minister Sikua said Solomon Islands will continue to use the resources available to us in pursuing Taiwan's course in the international arena such as the United Nations, the World Health Organization, the WTO and other world bodies in which Taiwan will be able to play a useful role as a democratic entity.

Source: Press Release (Government Communications Unit)