IFC’s priorities in Solomon Islands – a post-conflict small island state in the Pacific – are focused on boosting inclusive and sustained growth.
Investments by IFC in Solomon Islands support sustainable tuna production and job creation, with the tuna industry accounting for about 18 percent of the country’s GDP.
IFC’s advisory work in Solomon Islands is supported by the Pacific Partnership, through which Australia, New Zealand and IFC work to stimulate the private sector and reduce poverty.
Highlights of IFC’s work to date in Solomon Islands includes
- As transaction adviser for the government of Solomon Islands for the Tina River Hydropower Project, IFC has been supporting the first large scale infrastructure project developed as a public-private partnership (PPP) – which will see Solomon Islands move from nearly 100 percent reliance on imported diesel for power to about 70 percent renewable energy and cut power costs. The project has now reached financial close. The total project cost is expected to reach US$240 million over the next five years.
- Investments in fishing company, National Fisheries Development (NFD) have helped the company buy two new fishing vessels and create jobs at NFD and its sister company, SolTuna. IFC worked with NFD on an environment and social action plan. NFD has now been certified as “Fair Trade”.
- Investments in the tuna processing facility SolTuna – which marked IFC’s first investment in wild-catch fisheries in 15 years - have helped expand its facility and operations.
- IFC’s advisory services support for SolTuna to provide solutions for women and improve labor and occupational health and safety practices have helped the company cut costs and reduce absenteeism by a third and turnover by half. The number of women in leadership positions has risen from zero in 2015 to 107 today.
- With the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry, IFC established the Waka Mere Commitment to Action – which has seen 14 of the country’s largest businesses commit to promote gender equality, by moving more women into leadership positions, building respectful and supportive workplaces, and promoting women to non-traditional jobs.
In an innovative project, partnering with Ministry of Culture and Tourism, IFC is creating an investment ready shortlist of land for developing tourism in the Western Province. Lack of investable land has been cited as a key barrier in an IFC study to developing tourism in the province. In developing a roadmap for the government, IFC is also coordinating with the private sector and other donors.