Solomon Star

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (April 28) – The groundbreaking to mark the opening of the Guadalcanal Plains Palm Oil Ltd today is a significant development for the Solomon Islands.

It also sends the right signal to investors who are waiting to invest in the country.

It must be highlighted that the ceremony does not come easily. It occurs after months of hard work, trials and frustration that at times the project looked as though it would fall through.

However, the investor’s hard work together with landowners was what has enabled the ceremony to take place today.

It will be a vital moment for Solomon Islanders, regardless of where they come from, because the project will help us put our economy back on track.

While we see the opening of GPPOL as an important step forward, other resource owners must also realised that they can’t be spectators most of the time.

We need to open up our resources and create more industries for our people.

We need to share our resources for national development.

The people of the Guadalcanal Plains have long been important players in the country’s economic development.

We must recognise their contribution.

In appreciating that we must also prepare to share the responsibility of developing our country.

It is a responsibility that we must all share either through the availability of our resources or as players in the rebuilding process.

The commitment by the PNG based New Britain Palm Oil Ltd (NBPOL) must also be saluted.

Their desire to come and help us after years of trouble shows what a caring neighbour can do to help its friend in trouble times.

Being a Melanesian based company NBPOL believes that the Solomons is its next stop overseas. And that comes at a time when we desperately need support.

As we mark this important day the message we want to send to other investors is that we welcome them and are waiting for them.

April 28, 2005

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