10 Aug 2006

Solomons Prime Minister says country must develop the national economy

9:52 am on 10 August 2006

Solomon Islands prime minister, Manasseh Sogavare, says the country has failed to develop a national economy since becoming independent from British rule 28 years ago.

Speaking at the launch of the government's "Programmme of Action", Mr Sogavare says this comes despite the acres of tropical rain forests, vast exclusive economic fishing zones and acres of agricultural land.

Mr Sogavare says after years of forestry resources being exploited there is very little to show for all the volume of round logs exported.

He says despite the abundance of tuna, the cannery has been struggling to meet the demands of overseas markerts and Mr Sogavare was also critical of the mining sector saying there are potentials there that have been known for some 40 years.

But he says the country could only manage one gold mining operation that is struggling to re-open after it was destroyed in the ethnic tension on Guadalcanal Province in 1999.