admin's picture


May 20, 2002


Allow me to offer a few comments on the letter posted by a fellow countryman regarding Solomon Islands suggested withdrawal from the MSG Trade Agreement.

[SEE: Letter at]

Firstly, let me assure my compatriot Mr. P. P. Nanau that there never was any initiative or policy for Solomon Islands to withdraw from the MSG Trade Agreement or the grouping in its entire existence for that matter. It was the media who reported and made such a proposition and whatever their motives are they should have known better.

I believe the real intention by the Solomon Islands authorities was to ask other member countries party to the MSG Agreement to allow its exemption from the terms of the said Agreement for a specified period of time. The whole rationale behind this is to assist the Solomon Islands government raise much needed revenue. Such a measure will be temporary and must merely be a supplement to other short, medium and longer term economic and financial policy frameworks adopted by the Solomon Islands government to address the acute economic and financial problems it is currently facing. There is therefore, nothing sinister about the SIG policy intention.

Secondly, it will be a flawed assumption to link the MSG trade agreement exemptions initiative with the proposed waste imports from the Republic of China (ROC). The waste imports were the result of a deal between two private entities in the two countries. SIGs involvement therefore only involved the regulatory aspects. So why link that with the MSG trade?

More generally, there is no question about the fact that the onus for development of competitiveness of Solomon Islands in international trade lies with the country itself, in its policies frameworks and the strategies it employs. It would be a mistake to -- on the face -- allude that the country is blaming others for its woes -- far from that. Actually, the problems we face now are self-inflicted and we are merely trying to mitigate the effects of these problems.

And if the likes of Mr. P. P. Nanau cannot come to realize the good intentions of actions taken to request exemption from the terms of the MSG Trade Agreement then maybe he has better initiatives to suggest.

I make the above comments as a Solomon Islander who has seen the debilitation of Solomon Islands from what it used to be and who will continue to positively contribute towards rebuilding it to an even better home than before.

Joe M

Joseph Ma‘ahanua Email: 

Rate this article: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Add new comment