22 Apr 2010

Lack of reliable shipping restricting international trade in Solomon Islands

8:03 am on 22 April 2010

A study has shown that Solomon Islands' lack of a reliable international shipping service is restricting its trade with other major markets.

According to the Solomon Star newspaper, the 2009 Diagnostic Trade Integrated Study report, launched late last month, emphasises the importance of integrating transport policy more closely with trade strategies.

The study spans more than two years and was released by the Prime Minister, Dr Derek Sikua.

The report highlights the limited volume of exports leaving the country in containers under the current export structure.

It notes that logs, a major export, leave Solomon Islands in private vessels and sawn timber in containers.

Currently the country has has no access to the United States either by sea or air.

The report says Fiji is one of the countries fortunate to have access to reliable international shipping, making its products more popular and citing the success of Fiji Water in the US market as an example.