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Australia unhappy with treatment of mining investors here

AUSTRALIA has voiced their concern over the treatment made on applications from Australian mining companies in the Solomon Islands.

Australian Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Hon Keith Pitt MP raised that concern during the official opening of the 9th Australia Solomon Islands Business Forum yesterday in Honiara.

“To be honest, the Australian Government has received expressions of concern from some of our mining companies, around the treatment of license applications.

“They believe the processing of mining licenses has not always been consistent with Solomon Islands’ legislation,” he said.

Mr Pitt said the Australian mining industry has a lot to offer Solomon Islands and the projects Australian companies are involved with have the potential to make substantial contributions to the local economy.

He said sound laws and regulations, and the consistent application of them will naturally lead to more foreign investment in the mining sector.

“And here’s the crucial point, better governance will attract more responsible foreign investment.

“This will be measured not just by increased production and exports, but also the more sustainable advantages of long-term technology transfer and increased taxation revenue.

“Australian companies are keen to continue investing in the mining sector, and simply hope and expect that the rules are applied in a fair way, which follows the laws of the land.

“I discussed this issue with Prime Minister Sogavare yesterday (Monday) and I think we are on the same page here,” Mr Pitt said.

Of course he said you would all have read and heard a lot about what is happening regionally on trade and investment.

“And any current or prospective foreign investor will tell you, transparent and Predictable rules and processes around foreign investment are critical to making what might just start off as an idea or a vision, become a reality.