16 Jun 2014

Solomons developing a National Trade Policy

2:46 pm on 16 June 2014

The Solomon Islands Government says it is working on a national trade policy with help from a New Zealand professor and commercial lawyer.

The government says the country's first national trade policy will line up with priorities in other ministries and will take into account private sector views and civil society input.

Dr Chris Noonan, a commercial law professor at the University of Auckland, has been supporting the Department of External Trade in drafting the document.

Dr Noonan, who was the inaugural chief trade advisor for the Pacific, says an emerging consensus from consultations is that trade is not an end in itself but one mechanism to achieve the Solomons' objectives.

He says the government should be enhancing the role of trade in the economy as a means to reduce poverty and raise the level of human development.

The Director of External Trade, Barrett Salato, says key priorities for the provinces are access to finance for small-to-medium enterprises, building productive capacity and the construction of adequate infrastructure to help business growth.