The World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), has signed a cooperation agreement with the Solomon Islands government to help attract more investors to the country and strengthen its private sector to create jobs and improve the livelihoods of its people. The IFC plans to expand its operations in the country to achieve this.
Last year, IFC invested $10 million in tuna processor SolTuna, to help the company expand its facilities in Noro, Western Province. The expansion is expected to create an additional 500 jobs, allowing the local women and economy to benefit more from the income generated by the tuna industry, which is vital to the Solomon Islands’ economy.
Under the new agreement, IFC, which has been in the country since 2010, will maintain a permanent office in Honiara including Country Resident Representative Seva Payevskiy . He oversees IFC’s operations, including support for small and medium enterprises and generating new investments in key sectors including energy, fisheries, and tourism.
According to Clay Forau, Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade, the private sector makes up 80 per cent of the Solomon Islands economy through small, medium and large business enterprises.
Gavin Murray, IFC Regional Manager for the Pacific said, “With this agreement, we will focus our attention on helping the Solomon Islands take further advantage of its valuable natural resources while growing local businesses, creating jobs, and improving the skills of women.”