19 Jan 2006

Solomons taskforce to discuss RIPEL

4:16 pm on 19 January 2006

The Solomon Islands commerce minister says a taskforce will meet with traditional landowners tomorrow to discuss a new investment proposal to take over the Russell Islands Plantation Estate.

Levers Pacific Holdings is looking at acquiring the shares in the Estate which are owned by International Comtrade Shipping in the company.

The minister, Walton Naezon, says the government has a proposal to suit Levers and traditional landowners.

He says landowners will have a greater stake in the venture.

"Land, the title held by the commissioner of lands will be given back to the original landowners. And they will become a venture with the investors. The idea is to get the resource owner to become more of a partner in development, and we believe this is a model with the long term security and investment in Solomon Islands."

Walton Naezon, the Solomon Islands minister of commerce