IFC Expands Operation in Solomon Islands
IFC Expands Operation in Solomon Islands to Boost Private Sector Investment, Create Jobs
Honiara, the Solomon Islands, February 12, 2014—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has signed a cooperation agreement with the Solomon Islands government to expand IFC’s operation, attract more investors to the country, and strengthen its private sector to create jobs and improve the livelihoods of its people.
IFC has had a small presence in the Solomon Islands since 2010. Under the new agreement, it will maintain a permanent office with four staff to be based in Honiara, including Country Resident Representative, Seva Payevskiy. He oversees IFC’s operations, including support for small and medium enterprises and generating new investments in key sectors including energy, fisheries, and tourism.
“The private sector makes up 80 per cent of Solomon Islands economy through small, medium and large business enterprise; it is also commonly described as the engine room of our economy,” said Clay Forau, Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade. “IFC’s commitment towards the development of our private productive sector is crucial and warmly welcomed.”
Last year, IFC invested $10 million in SolTuna Ltd., a tuna processor in the Solomon Islands, to help the company expand its facilities in Noro, Western Province. The expansion is expected to create an additional 500 jobs, allowing the local women and economy to benefit more from the income generated by the tuna industry, which is vital to the Solomon Islands’ economy.
“IFC is scaling up its Pacific operations and we have already begun to see transformation take place in places like the Solomon Islands,” said IFC Regional Manager for the Pacific, Gavin Murray. “With this agreement, we will focus our attention on helping the Solomon Islands take further advantage of its valuable natural resources while growing local businesses, creating jobs, and improving the skills of women.”
IFC is located in the World Bank Group headquarters, Mud Alley, Honiara.