Drop in Solomons logging and fisheries exports to continue into June

8:14 am on 8 April 2020

The Solomon Islands finance minister has listed a decline in logging and fisheries exports among the major negative impacts of Covid-19 on the country's economy.

Harry Kuma made the comments in his contribution to an emergency parliamentary meeting debate on extending the country's state of emergency for four months.

Mr Kuma said the decline in exports stemmed from the effect of the pandemic in the country's main international markets, namely Asia for logs and Europe for canned fish products.

The minister said while people have lost their jobs, and businesses had been badly affected, he called on all Solomon Islanders not to give up.

"We are not on our knees yet. I wish to encourage businesses to keep going and the rural populace to continue to farm the land."

"The government is determined and has mobilised domestic and external resources to prepare the country, limiting the financial and economic fallout of Covid-19 on our domestic economy."

Mr Kuma also said that because of international travel restrictions Solomon Islands tourism sector had practically disappeared and damages wrought by Cyclone Harold have further complicated matters.

According to him, the International Monetary Fund forecasts the economic slowdown will continue into June.