Solomon Islands is one of the few Island nations that offer real potential investment opportunities in many productive economic sectors.
The investment climate since 2004 has been improving and has shown signs of stability due largely to the following outcomes.
The work of Regional Assistance to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) in restoring and maintaining law and order since mid 2003 was very important and has been remarkably welcomed by foreign investors. RAMSI 3 years of engagement in the Solomon Islands has resulted in improving the environment for foreign investment in the country by working in partnership with the National Government on areas including law and order, strengthening the judiciary functions, good governance, nation building capacity and more importantly, reviving investors' confidence. Through this partnership, foreign investors once again enjoy a peaceful and secure investment environment.
The National Government recognizes the importance of foreign investment in the economic development of Solomon Islands has instituted certain reforms aligned to encouraging foreign investment. One of these is the introduction of the new Foreign Investment Act 2005 and Regulation 2006. The essence of thisreviewed Act and Regulation provides a simplification and abolition of some of the various impeding regulatory and administrative requirements to foreign investment. It also provides for greater foreign investors' participation in the country's economic growth and development.
One associate benefits is the investment registration process that requires only 5 working days for the Registrar of Investment to make a decision. The Act also gives provision for foreign investors to seek assistance from the Investment Facilitation Committee on areas matters to their investment such as facilitating investors' request for facilitation support incentives or appealing the Registrar decision for rejecting their investment application.
The new law also provide venue for foreign investors to have a wider choice for developing investment activities previously reserved for Solomon Islanders. Moreover foreign investors will be more certain of the outcome of their investment applications for conducting business in Solomon Islands.
The National Government understands that due to the increasing cost of establishing and conducting investment activities, certain propose reforms are being conducted. Included in these reforms are the taxation reform that looks on alternative taxation system that will encourage private sector growth, labor and immigration reforms that will allow special consideration for foreign investors and other general reforms such as land tenure system, infrastructure development, and public utilities upgrade plans that covers roads, shipping, airline, telecommunication, electricity and water some of these reforms have being archieved, whilst others are still on ongoing process.
Because of the emergent importance of Foreign Direct Investment and international trade, the National Government is implementing policies that will encourage growth in the exporting sector. This include joining trade blocks, particularly the Melanesian Spearhead Group and negotiating on trade agreements with the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, USA , Asian countries and Pacific Islands countries . It also examines possible means to expand Solomon Islands market links to the outside world by rectifying international trade agreements including adherence to the World Trade Organization.