WELCOME: Pitt hosts Solomon Islands leader in Bundy
FEDERAL Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt welcomed the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands Rick Houenipwela to Bundaberg yesterday.
Prime Minister Houenipwela attended a service at the South Sea Islander Church and meet with local parishioners.
Mr Pitt said Australia has a strong and enduring friendship with Solomon Islands.
"It was an honour to welcome Prime Minister Houenipwela to the Bundaberg region and a great opportunity for him to meet local residents,” Mr Pitt said.
"Australia and Solomon Islands had a total trade partnership of $312million in 2016-17, and Australia is the largest source of imports to Solomon Islands.
"This visit to Australia will provide an opportunity to strengthen the bilateral relationship, as well as our cooperation across the Pacific region.”
Mr Pitt attended the 9th Australia Solomon Islands Business Forum in Honiara in July last year, where he launched a new Australian Government initiative.
The Strongim Bisnis initiative works with the private sector and Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce to increase investment and support growth in the cocoa, coconut and tourism sectors.
"Following the conclusion of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) last year, economic growth is critical to maintaining peace and stability in the Solomon Islands.”
This is Mr Houenipwela's first visit to Australia as PM..