6 Dec 2005

Solomon Islands gets debt relief from unnamed lender

5:07 pm on 6 December 2005

The Solomon Islands government has negotiated a partial write-off of a multi-million dollar debt it owed an, as yet, unnamed overseas financial institution.

The finance minister, Peter Boyers, has told parliament, the government was able to get 75-percent forgiveness on an 11.5 million US dollar debt.

In winding up yesterday's general debate on his 2006 budget Mr Boyers said debt repayment now forms about 20-percent of the government's budget.

And he says the government has repaid more than 90-percent of its debt to private business.

A government spokesperson, Johnson Honimae, says Mr Boyers is taking the lead in a responsible attitude to debt so business and overseas investors feel Solomon Islands is a more reliable place in which to invest.

"He is saying that the government is trying to make the environment conducive so that business investments can come in so that the government can have this money to repay its debts and after it's paid all its debts that money can go in to the services"

A Solomon Islands government spokesperson, Johnson Honimae.