Solomon Islands Launches its First National Trade Policy Framework

The Honourable Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Milner Tozaka and the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Meg Taylor DBE jointly launched the Solomon Islands National Trade Policy Framework on 18 March 2015. The Framework was approved by the Cabinet of the Solomon Islands earlier in the week.

The official launch of the Framework marks the culmination of more than two years of work that has been invested into this project by the people of the Solomon Islands, with technical and financial support from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

The Secretary General in her welcome remarks stressed the importance of effectively implementing the Framework, and the critical role of the National Trade and Development Council (NTDC) to drive the implementation of the key recommendations from the Framework.

"This Framework has been formulated through an extensive consultative process by the very constituents this Framework is targeted at assisting - the Solomon Islands people. We need to continue building on this partnership and to have strong input in articulating trade-related needs and identifying key priorities to be addressed,” Dame Meg Taylor said.

In his keynote statement, Hon. Tozaka expressed his full and unwavering support for the successful implementation of the Trade Policy Framework and highlighted that its title 'Building Productive Capacity for Trade and Quality of Life' embodies how policies intended to benefit Solomon Islanders should be formulated.

”Trade policy should not be created in a vacuum but should consider the wider aspects of Solomon Islands’ culture and society. With the application of the Framework we aspire for trade not only to instigate economic growth, but also to promote human development, reduce poverty and improve living standards,” Hon. Tozaka stated.

The Trade Policy Framework will guide the work of the NTDC in addressing key trade-related challenges faced by the Solomon Islands in the medium to long term future in areas such as building productive capacity, resolving supply-side constraints, improving infrastructure and compliance with standards and export requirements.

In accordance with the Framework’s Implementation Matrix, the work of the NTDC will also extend to areas including increasing foreign direct investment, establishing competition policies, mobilising aid for trade resources as well as strengthening trade-related institutions in the Solomon Islands in order for the private sector to better utilise market access opportunities.

This project was supported with funding from the European Union’s Pacific Integration and Technical Assistance Project (PITAP) that is managed by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat under the 10th European Development Fund.

Photo caption: Hon. Minister Milner Tozaka, Minister for Foreign Affairs & External Trade and Secretary General, Meg Taylor DBE, launching the Solomon Islands National Trade Policy Framework.


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