A two days National workshop on the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Green Trade Project and the Pacific Regional Integration Support (PRISE) Programme on Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) and International Trade Promotions is currently underway in Honiara.
The workshop that began this morning serves as a valuable Forum for Government Officials, private sector representatives, kava producers and exporters to discuss Non- Tariff Measures and the potential of Kava, particularly as an export product for Solomon Islands.
Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Trade Commissioner within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Barrett Salato said the project is aimed at increasing the capacity of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and members of MSG such as Solomon Islands to identify and strengthen synergistic linkages between green trade promotion and their sustainable development in a regionally collaborative manner.
The first workshop on the MSG Green Trade Project was held on 30 June 2022.
Since then, field work was conducted by a National Consultant to compile a Voluntary Sustainable Standards (VSS) Assessment for Solomon Islands focusing on Kava organic production, processing and exporting and also an export guide specifically for kava, but applicable to other export crops.
The focus of the study was on the value-chain of kava from the farm-gate to the consumer stage. Work was also carried out by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to collect data on the Non-tariff measures (NTMs) in Solomon Islands that may affect the export or import of products.
“We acknowledge the valuable support that participants present here today may have rendered during the consultation process,” Trade Commissioner Salato emphasized.
He further stressed that although Solomon Islands is still yet to be on par compared to other MSG Countries such as Fiji and Vanuatu when it comes to export of Kava, there is huge potential.
In 2021, export of Kava from Solomon Islands to one of the Pacific Island countries was valued at SBD 6.5Million.
Mr Salato said with the growing interest by local farmers, producers and exporters over the recent years, it is very important that all the stakeholders in the value chain must work together to establish national policies and procedures in place to ensure that Kava exported in any form complies to International Standards.
The Two-days’ workshop is co-organized by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade (MFAET), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the MSG Secretariat and the Pacific Community (SPC) and co-funded by the United Nations Development Account (UNDA) and the European Union.
The workshop has two objectives which are to validate the national phase results of the MSG Green Trade project and to raise awareness about NTMs and related supports under the PRISE programme. END///
—-MFAET PRESS RELEASE