27 Nov 2006

Chinese merchants in Solomons advised to give back more to locals

5:19 pm on 27 November 2006

The chairman of Solomon Islands' Chamber of Commerce says Chinese business interests in the region should allow indigenous people to play a greater role in the economy.

Peter Goodwin made the comment when asked about similarities between the destruction of Honiara's Chinatown in April and the recent destruction of Chinese businesses in Tonga's capital.

Mr Goodwin says the importance of the role of Chinese merchants in the region needs to be acknowledged.

However, he says the emergence of indigenous peoples in their own market places also needs to be recognised.

He suggests that some Chinese merchants in the country could benefit from giving more back to the indigenous people..

"The behaviour of the Chinese merchants needs to be modified in some respects in order to allow the indigenous peoples of the nations in which the Chinese operate to play a broader role."

The chairman of Solomon Islands' Chamber of Commerce Peter Goodwin