5 Aug 2005

Solomons recovery decades away - minister

3:42 pm on 5 August 2005

Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Laurie Chan says after years of civil unrest, it will take the country 20 years to restore per capita incomes to what they were in 1995.

He made the remarks at a regional ministerial meeting in Jakarta discussing progress on achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

Don Wiseman reports.

"Mr Chan told the meeting Solomon Islands has incorporated Millennium goals into its plans for economic recovery, but the fundamental determinant of how it achieves this the health and growth rate of the economy."

Mr Chan says the price of conflict is very high, both in terms of lost opportunity, and the time it takes for a society and economy to recover.

He says if recipient governments do not improve the quality of their laws and decision making, then prosperity will remain elusive and unsustainable.

Mr Chan says Solomon Islands has an important opportunity to rebuild what it has lost since 1995.

He says with the high population growth rate it is expected to take around 20 years to get back to 1995 levels of per capita income. Mr Chan says this will require a sustained effort, but this time Solomon Islands will know the price of economic failure is social failure.