Government and SICCI Sign Framework Deal, ACTIV 10 years celebration With local communities and Other News

Government and SICCI Sign Framework Deal

The Solomon Star – A DEAL to strengthen the newly introduced Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement between the Government and the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce (SICCI), was formally sealed on the 24th of July 2017, in Honiara.

A statement from the Prime Minister Press Secretariat said, this historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), paves a way for a strengthened partnership between the government and private sector under this arrangement.

“The MOU was signed by the Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare, Minister of Commerce, Industries, Labour and Immigration, Hon Elijah Doromuala and SICCI Chair, Jay Bartlett, at a ceremony held at the Heritage Park Hotel in Honiara.”

Mr Bartlett described the deal signing in his opening address, as a significant milestone that will formalise the partnership between the parties through dialogue.

“We are here to sign our MOU. A significant milestone in the progress we have made to strengthen the partnership between government and business.

“This MOU establishes a formal, structured private sector dialogue mechanism that may allow us to arrive at an agreed position on reform priorities and develop solutions that are in step with the ever changing domestic, regional and global landscape.”

Mr Bartlett said that mechanism has been the focus of SICCI for the last 24 months and on that note thanked the SICCI Secretariat, Members and Affiliates for the continued support to the Board and its vision to focus on a framework.

He thanked the Democratic Coalition for Change Government (DCCG) on behalf of the SICCI Board and Members for placing value on its relationship with SICCI and agreeing to the establishment of an MOU.

In his accolade to the Government, Mr Bartlett made special mention of Mr Sogavare for playing a key role in ensuring that the partnership framework became a reality by co-signing it with Minister Doromuala on behalf of the Government.

He also made special mention of the support provided by the Ministry of Commerce, Industries, Labour and Immigration in driving the partnership framework initiative and co-hosting the signing ceremony with SICCI.

Mr Sogavare in his keynote address said the MOU is critical as it provided a platform for policy dialogue, bolsters understanding of the Government of the needs of the private sector and strengthens Government relationship with businesses.

He added that through the setup of an Advisory Group, the Government and the private sector will work towards exploring solutions that are tailor-fit to Solomon Islands context.

The Prime Minister said under the Advisory Group, the Government will work with the private sector to make recommendations towards the effective implementation of identified Public Private Partnership opportunities.

“This is a strategy to encourage the government to lend an open ear to the sector that creates the country’s wealth and pays the taxes that support the operation of the Government.”

Mr Sogavare said as Solomon Islands begins the post-RAMSI era, it is important than ever for the country to consolidate efforts to drive economic growth, create jobs and harness efforts to build a prosperous nation.

On that note, he encouraged the private sector to work with the Government on the platform of the MOU to create innovative schemes of arrangement that would encourage and allow local innovations amongst Solomon Islanders to be recognised.

He said innovations are the future of Solomon Islands and believes that the provision of incentive packages for innovation competitions will encourage youths to positively use their energy to create things and ideas for the betterment of the country.

The ceremony was attended by Government and SICCI officials, representatives of the private sector organisations, diplomatic corps and community representatives.

The Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) look forward to achieving a similar result when it submitted a Vanuatu Government and VCCI MOU proposal to the Vanuatu Government in 2017. The creation of a formal, structured private sector dialogue mechanism aims to develop and strengthen productive and communicative working relations between the Vanuatu Government and Vanuatu businesses statutory body, undertake the VCCI reform and ensure that the implementation of the goals and policy objectives of the Economy pillar and Environment pillar of the National Sustainable Development Plan (NSDP), from 2016 to 2030, is achieved in Vanuatu, under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement. 

ACTIV 10 years celebration With local communities

ACTIV (Alternative Communities Trade in Vanuatu) Association celebrated its 10 years of activity on Friday 9th February at the official opening of the exhibition organized at the espace Alliance Française. During the event all the partners (donors, NGOs, volunteers organization and private sectors) were thanked for their involvement for the last decade in the activities of the ACTIV Association. Testing of the ACTIV Association own brand AELAN products developed with the communities and small-scale producers from the archipelago, was also organized. The AELAN products range from handicrafts to awarded cocoa and chocolate, Virgin Coconut oil and spices.

Over the last decade ACTIV has worked on the economic, social and environmental empowerment of the local communities and small-scale producers of the archipelago with more than 37 projects implemented representing 137.5 million vatu funded by the governments of Australia, France, New Zealand, Canada, United Nations, USA and Vanuatu and with the assistance of 25 international volunteers from Australia, USA, France, New Caledonia, Belgium and PNG. ACTIV thank them for their significant support to the organization and the previous and current members of the board of a total of 12 people and its staff of a total of 17 people over the last decade. Finally ACTIV will not reach this level also without the huge support from every customer who purchases an AELAN product. You all contributed to build AELAN the local community brand stronger and ACTIV sincerely thanks you for this and hope you will continue to support AELAN products. More than 90 million vatu were re-distributed in the islands for the purchase of the handicrafts, cocoa and agricultural products. ACTIV will continue to produce high quality products and work for the empowerment of the local communities and small-scale producers of the archipelago of Vanuatu.

To learn more about the activities managed by ACTIV for the last decade and enjoy AELAN products, you are welcomed to visit the ACTIV 10 years exhibition at the espace Alliance Française, Port Vila, until Wednesday 21st February or visit ACTIV centre at the second lagoon and AELAN shop on the Lini Highway. The AELAN products are also available in several retailers in Port Vila and Santo.



Photo above: ACTIV 10 years celebration


News On Overtime For Employers

For Employers of the private sector who set up a new business and are in the process of preparing staff contracts and an employment handbook, it is suggested to consult the Employment Act CAP 160 and the Department of Labour. VCCI advise Employers of the private sector that the Section 26 of the Employment Act CAP 160 is quite clear on overtime payments. The Employers will pay the first 44 hours in a week at the normal rate. The hours from 45 to 48 (ie. the additional, overtime hours) are paid at 1.25 times the normal rate, and any hours above this is at 1.5 times the normal rate, except for the overtime for public holidays or Sundays. It is also subject to employments documents such as employment contract, employment handbook, stating that the work week is 44 hours and consists of 5 eight hour days Monday to Friday and 4 hours on Saturdays. Anything over those daily limits would attract overtime payments even if the total worked time per week is less than 44 hours. See Section 22 of the Employment Act CAP 160. You can also check the Employers Guidebook of VCCI available on VCCI website