The Guadalcanal Provincial Government (GPG) and the Solomon Islands Chinese Business Council (SCBC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Friday last week, marking the start of a fruitful cooperation between the provincial government and the council.
Premier Francis Sade (second from left) holding the signed MOU with Antonio Lee (second from right)
The MoU aims at strengthening economic activities and investments between the Provincial Government and Guangdong Province of China, through the SCBC.
Speaking during the signing, Premier of Guadalcanal Province, Francis Sade said they hope the MoU can further strengthen relations between the two provinces.
“Although we have had this relationship with Guangdong Province, the difficulty we have faced in having discussions with them is the language, culture and bureaucracy. I believe through this partnership with SCBC, they will be the bridge between this relationship.”
Premier Francis Sade
“They will communicate on our behalf. They will not take away the power of decision making as we will still have that, but they will create the platforms where we can discuss with Guangdong on areas of cooperation that we would decide to venture into,” he said.
Among the strategies of corporation listed to achieve common interest through the MoU is, to work together collaboratively to progress the Business activities as agreed upon to be implemented pursuant to the MoU, to make all efforts to secure agreement with reputable investors for key flagship investment projects for GPG, to apply their financial, human or other resources to deliver a successful project, and to communicate efficiently and freely to facilitate the implementation of the various components of the project.
Meanwhile, Chairman of SCBC Mr. Antonio Lee emphasized on the bridge they will be providing for the partnership between Guadalcanal and Guangdong Province.
“As we may know language is very important for communication and sometimes, they will not understand the culture so we will be bridging through culture and communication. That is our strength, and we will continue to push for that. We are a business council, so trade and economic investment is also our strength.”
“We want to develop this country and we know a lot of graduates are still looking for jobs, some want to go overseas to learn more so through our connection I believe we can improve. I do not want to make big promises as I always believe we should do things humbly and according to our capacity, but I believe we have the resources to supplement Guadalcanal Province,” he said.
The MoU is the first that the council has signed with Guadalcanal Province, and it is their first MoU in Solomon Islands for Province to Province.
Mr. Lee said the MoU with Guadalcanal province is also to set precedence for other provinces to work with them in the future.
“We will engage with other provinces if needed, because there are also other provinces in Solomon Islands and not only Guadalcanal Province. But Guadalcanal Province already has ties with Guangdong Province even before the country’s switch to China so we are working with them first.”
The SCBC is an eight-member registered body set up in 2021 aimed at bridging the gap for development opportunities for Solomon Islands.
By Eliza Kukutu