SOLOMON ISLANDS FACES DEFICIT DUE TO FALL IN LOG EXPORT TRADE

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (April 8, 1998-Radio Australia/PACNEWS/Tohi)--- Solomon Islands Governor General Sir Moses Pitakaka says the collapse of the log export trade has left "a large hole" in the revenues of the Solomon Islands government.

Government revenues from log exports this year, he adds, will be less than half the amount collected in 1996.

Sir Moses said that with the end of the log export boom during the second half of 1997, the country’s overall balance of payments recorded a large end-of-the-year deficit.

The external reserves that used to record substantial receipts from logging in the mid-1990's, he noted, has dwindled to just around $US 30 million, less than a two-month supply of imported goods and services.

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