ADB Delegation Visits Honiara to Discuss Support for Solomon Islands

HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS – Officials from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will visit Honiara today to meet with Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo and other senior government officials for discussions on ADB’s support to Solomon Islands.

ADB and the Government of Solomon Islands recently agreed to a new five-year Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) 2012–2016, which envisages a total of $38 million of grant and concessional loan assistance, as well as an annual $1 million in technical assistance.

“ADB and Solomon Islands are working together to promote inclusive growth through improvements in transport, information and communications technology, renewable energy, and public sector management,” said Ayumi Konishi, Deputy Director General of ADB’s Pacific Department. “With an improved fiscal situation, we hope to help accelerate Solomon Island’s development in coordination with other development partners.”

ADB is helping boost economic opportunities, connect communities and reduce poverty in some of the most disadvantaged areas in Solomon Islands through infrastructure development, and support for private sector development. ADB is also working closely with the Solomon Islands Government to help modernize business laws, improve corporate governance of state-owned enterprises, and increase access to finance opportunities. These activities are part of the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative, which ADB established in 2006 with cofinancing from the Australian Government.

During the 10-13 May visit, Mr. Konishi and Regional Director Andrea Iffland will visit the ADB-funded electronic Companies Registry (Company Haus), which enables online registration of companies in Solomon Islands and contributes towards improving efficiency in the country. The ADB mission will also make site visits in west Guadalcanal to review the achievements of the Solomon Islands Road Improvement Project, which was cofinanced by ADB and the governments of Australia and New Zealand.

The Solomon Islands Road Improvement Project continues on Guadalcanal and Malaita, where it will replace or upgrade about 30 water crossings and build 100 kilometers of road. An important part of the project has been strengthening transport links to better withstand extreme weather, a process known as “climate-proofing.”