LITTLE NEW FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN SOLOMON ISLANDS

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (April, 14, 1998 - PACNEWS/Tohi)---The Solomon Islands Minister for Commerce, Employment and Tourism, Enele Kwanairara, says there has been very little foreign investment in the country during the past eight months, noting that only one foreign company was set up during the period.

The minister was responding to a question raised in Parliament by the member for Savo and the Russells, Allan Kemakeza, on the number of foreign investors who have been granted certificates for approval, the Solomon Islands Broadcasting Company reports.

Kwanairara said the foreign investment board approved 15 licenses in the last eight months but 14 are yet to begin operations.

The investment proposals, he said, include four in forestry, two each in the tourism and manufacturing sectors and several in communication, transport and other areas.

Delays in acquiring land and obtaining permits and licenses, as well as the currently depressed economic climate in the Solomons, Kwanairara noted, are some of the obstacles hindering business development.

He assured the members of Parliament, however, that his ministry is doing its best to amend the Foreign Investment Act to make the Solomon Islands more appealing to potential foreign investors.

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