Cooperation the way forward in the Solomon Islands

Participants in the Solomon Islands workshop

Participants at the recent Business Capability Building Workshop, staged in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

New business relationships were a talking point at the recent Business Capability Building Workshop, staged in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

As part of its Path to Market Programme, Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand hosted the free September 19 workshop, in partnership with the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) to assist business owners to grow their business and to attract investors to help fund it.

The workshop encouraged the 30 local entrepreneurs in attendance, to network and look at the possibility of working together and doing business jointly.

Entrepreneurs who attended the workshop stem from various industries, including agriculture, aquaculture, handicrafts, banking sector, consultancy services, security services, printing and artwork services, essential oils, real estate development, forestry, waste management, resort business, garments, trading and retail business.

Acting Trade and Investment Commissioner for PTI Manuel Valdez says seeing the small business owners considering working together is a positive development.

“An example of this type of networking is a kava producer introduced and promoted his kava as being more potent than kava from other countries such as Fiji and Vanuatu,” Manuel says.

“Some participants approached this producer and started negotiating about buying his products for Fiji and other Pacific consuming countries.”

Most of the participants in these types of workshops are from micro-industries and small enterprises.

Manuel says there are many advantages of using the cooperative system.

“This is primarily because it has economies-of-scale; can command price to the buyers; it has a good management structure compared with micro-industries; and there are installed checks and balances to mitigate operational risks.”

From the workshop, several the participants have been identified as being export-ready, having established their business several years ago.

“The essential oils business is indeed a very lucrative and innovative one since it enriches the use of indigenous raw materials to produce herbal products to treat eczema, itchiness, dizziness, headaches, hay fever and so on and those working in this industry are keen to export these types of products to New Zealand and other importing countries,” Manuel says.

Feedback from the workshop suggests participants would like it to be staged over several days.

Others like the experiential and interactive workshop where participants are asked to share their journey.

An earlier workshop was also staged in Port Vila, Vanuatu in September 17.

For more information, contact Pacific Trade Invest Trade Development Manager Ian Furlong –



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