Solomon Islands’ Temotu province to begin trading with Vanuatu
Temotu, the Solomon Islands’ easternmost province, is to start trading with Vanuatu soon, further to a trade agreement signed last year. Temotu Province Premier Father Brown Beu said this week that the province had agreed to start off trading with Vanuatu as soon as Solomon Islands customs and immigration officers arrived at the provincial capital Lata.<!--more--><!--more-->
Temotu Province was formerly known as the Santa Cruz Islands and lies much closer to Vanuatu than the island of Guadalcanal, where the Solomon Islands’ capital Honiara is situated. The premier said trading would start off with goods that were covered in the first memorandum of understanding between the two parties.
The province last month allocated nearly S$3 million for infrastructure projects like refurbishing its wharves and constructing buildings to facilitate trade and transportation. The province is seeking approval from its national government to run shipping and air services between its destinations and Vanuatu, which it hopes will form of a second MOU to be signed when approval is received.
Premier Fr Beu said the province had decided to start trading with Vanuatu for the betterment of business people in the province. “It is important for our shop owners to buy cargo from Vanuatu,” he told media this week.
The Solomon Islands’ High Commissioner to Fiji, John Patterson Oti, who was formerly the country’s Foreign Affairs Minister and Minister for Communication, Aviation and Meteorology, hails from this remote province.