18 Mar 2008

Solomons GG warns against economy's reliance on logging

8:40 pm on 18 March 2008

The Solomon Islands Governor General has warned Members of Parliament how insecure the country's economic base is.

In his address at the opening of parliament, Sir Nathaniel Waena said the days of logging being the foundation of the country's wealth are numbered.

The Solomons economy has flourished in the last few years largely on the back of investment and employment in the logging sector.

But Sir Nathaniel said that if the country didn't take up new sustainable livelihood opportunities, its economy and the standard of living for Solomon Islanders would decline significantly.

"Harvesting logs are fast running out. In less than five years we expect that the logging industry will no longer exist. Only if our people have the capabilities to take up new opportunities will we successfully meet this challenge."

Sir Nathaniel Waena said the Solomon Islands must develop a new flexible economy with a broader-base of industries.

He said fisheries, tourism, oil-palm and mining are some of the industries that can flourish in the country.