Prime Minister Hon. Manasseh Sogavare MP begun his weeklong engagement with the Government of the Peoples Republic of China this morning.
Prime Minister Sogavare’s delegation consisting of Government Ministers, back benchers, senior government officials and representatives of the Solomon Islands business community arrived yesterday afternoon in Beijing and was accorded heavy security escort. The busy Beijing traffic gave way to the motorcade of more than 20 vehicles. The Solomon Islands and PRC flags were flown alongside each other along the streets as if were to welcome the Prime Minister into Beijing.
This morning, the honourable Prime Minister participated in the historic first High Level Meeting of Forum on Global Action for Shared Development.
Taking the podium during the forum, Prime Minister Sogavare begun by paying tribute to President Xi Jinping who proposed the concept of “Building a Community with a Shared Future for mankind” following the launching of the Global Development Initiative last year.
The Prime Minister confirms, Solomon Islands signed the Global Development Initiative in March this year.
Prime Minister Sogavare stated, the crisis of biodiversity loss, climate change, pollution, global crisis the pandemic, conflict and civil unrest gives the gathering a greater sense of purpose and responsibility to recover from the multidimensional crisis as well as to fast track implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
He said, “building common prosperity is investing in peaceful co-existence. This is the future we must strive to achieve.”
Prime Minister Sogavare underscored the need to rise above those that want to create a divided world with ideological geopolitical fault lines….. “we must remain united in our focus in creating innovative paths of cooperation to close the gap between the haves and the have not. Share our development experience using frameworks such as the Belt and Road Initiative to convert our potentials into prosperity.”
Solomon Islands is pleased to have in place a non-reciprocal trade arrangement with China and looks forward to forge more trade arrangements with members of the Forum.
The Prime Minister explains, as part of the China Global Development Initiative, Solomon Islands signing an Aviation Agreement this week will facilitate trade and people movement. In doing so I am pleased to acknowledge Solomon Islands – China connectivity structural transformation investment… “161 towers will be installed, and for the first time unify and connect our geographically scattered populations.”
Prime Minister Sogavare also highlighted the need to empower Solomon Islanders economically with quality infrastructure to eradicate poverty. China is Solomon Islands largest infrastructure partner. Construction of Solomon Islands Games facility support the country’s nation building process to which the country is grateful to China.
He urge the Forum to sow seeds of stability by addressing food and public health securities adding, China’s hand of friendship in reaching out to the world with vaccines, medical equipment and supplies defined the South South solidarity.
The Prime Minister thank China for its commitment to construct a new comprehensive Public Medical Center in Solomon Islands National Referral Hospital. Solomon Islands is pleased that the People’s Liberation Army Naval Peace Ark will be visiting Solomon Islands, he stated.
Climate change remains a threat multiplier, taking more ambitious climate mitigation action with a special focus on renewable energy and the transfer of green technology.
Prime Minister Sogavare also singled out China’s Investment in the country’s youth.
“Let me thank China for investing in the youth equipping them with skills and specialized training. Solomon Islands has a number of students and athletes in China. They are our present and future.”
Our interaction as a community of states remains people centered, strong on firm foundations of the principle of building a community with a shared future based on the respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, equality and mutual trust and benefits. Guided by a sharing and caring approach that equip countries of the south to independently choose their development paths suited to their interests and conditions, Prime Minister Sogavare concluded.
The Governments of the People’s Republic of China and Solomon Islands emphasized, the current state visit focuses on areas of mutual cooperation to further strengthen the two nations relations in the face of geopolitical pressure.
-PM Press Sec