The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) will host its inaugural Infrastructure Symposium this year which will bring together key stakeholders in the infrastructure development sector in Solomon Islands.

The two-day Symposium is scheduled to take place from Thursday 21 October to Friday 22 October 2021 at the Foreign Fisheries Agency (FFA) Regional Conference Centre in Honiara.

The Solomon Islands Government and development partners announced around SBD$10 billion worth of infrastructure projects for Solomon Islands in the next five years. From the Chamber’s perspective, this is a key factor in the country’s economic recovery.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ms. Natalina Hong said by hosting this Symposium, SICCI plans to create a platform that will bring together all key role-players, of the public and private sector in the infrastructure development investment space, who have the common goal of accelerating an infrastructure led economic recovery plan.

“This will include presentation and information sharing to encourage transparency in the sector and better understanding of key players and immediate issues that stakeholders have to be aware of.

“The Symposium is also an opportunity to nurture infrastructure partnership public and private and shape conversation on policy and regulations, reforms in infrastructure, and most importantly to identify whether these massive infrastructure developments are truly maximizing local participation of businesses and communities,” a SICCI statement said.

The desired outcome of the of the Infrastructure Symposium is to get an overview of infrastructure projects across the country and to gauge its impact on the local economy.

During the Symposium, SICCI will also be launching its Local Content Paper - a fundamental document to maintain the advocacy for participation of Solomon Islanders in infrastructure or in any development.

“Presentations and papers from contributors and panelists will be compiled and made available to the public online or as SICCI series of documentation of infrastructure development and mapping of all infrastructure projects for the next five years.

“This in turn will provide opportunities for local contractors or consultancy to gather information on opportunities on how they can be involved in major projects,” the statement said.

SICCI wants to ensure that local content is included in the billion-dollar worth of infrastructure projects that are planned for the next five years to boost employment and local businesses so that return to the economy will benefit Solomon Islanders in the road to economy recovery ahead.

SICCI believes Solomon Islands can maximise the benefits of infrastructure spending if there are policies and regulations in place to promote local content.

Source: SICCI Media