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Training administered through Solomons College

By Eddie Osefelo HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Oct. 13, 2010) – Solomon Islands stand to benefit in education training and trade from Canada.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Peter Shanel revealed this to media yesterday after returning from the United Nations General Assembly in New York, United States of America, on Saturday.

Mr. Shanel said he held discussions with Canadian officials and they offered to assist "our people using Solomon Islands College of Higher Education (SICHE) to train our mechanics, plumbers and carpenters."

"The training will be up to Canada standard and they can receive their certificates. They can go to Canada to work because one of their places has shortage of tradesmen," he said.

"Also there are further opportunities the Canadian Government will give $20,000 CAD (SB$144,372.54 [US$17,400]) to help our students who want to switch course in their country," he said.

In trade, Mr. Shanel said Canada wants to import cassava from Solomon Islands because of high demand in their country.

"Instead of selling at market, we can export to Canada.

"If we can export container of cassavas every month this will help us to trade with Canada," he said.

[PIR editor’s note: According to Canada’s government website, relations between Canada and the Solomon Islands were established on 7 July, 1978. "Canada supports community-based projects in the Solomon Islands through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives administered by the Canadian High Commission in Australia. The country is also eligible for multilateral programs and others managed by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)."]

Besides his meeting with the Canada officials, Mr. Shanel had held discussion with officials from United Arab Emirates.

He said United Arab Emirates want to help "us in energy."

But he said they are yet to go into details of this proposed help.

Meanwhile, Mr. Shanel had travelled across the Atlantic Ocean to attend the Least Developed Countries (LDC) meeting in Lisbon, Portugal.

He said the meeting involved donor partners like Australia, United States of America, England and European Union to look at how LDCs can achieve their Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Meanwhile, Mr. Shanel leaves today for Japan to attend a meeting of Pacific Leaders Meeting (PALM5).

From there he will travel to the European Union’s headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, to attend the Asia Caribbean Pacific (ACP) meeting.

He returns on 25th October in time for the Melanesian Spearhead Group meeting in Honiara the following day.

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