21 Feb 2006

Solomon Islands minister welcomes lower shipping fares

9:30 am on 21 February 2006

The Solomon Islands Minister for Finance Peter Boyers, has welcomed a recent reduction in fares by local shipping companies.

Mr Boyers says he is pleased to see Solomon Islanders enjoying lower fares.

He says a competitive and well managed shipping service is essential for economic development throughout Solomon Islands.

The minister says it will help rural livelihoods to prosper and businesses to grow and create more jobs which is vital to the future.

The Government says it is committed to increasing competition in shipping, by making it easier for the private sector to register a business and invest in shipping.

Last year, Mr Boyers reduced import duties to zero on ships, inboard and outboard motors and their parts, and marine safety equipment.

He says the policy is stimulating increased investment in shipping and it is pleasing to see that the benefits of this are now being passed on as cheaper fares.