The economy of Solomon Islands is small, but growing strongly. The GDP per capita in 2006 was around US$775. Preliminary projections indicate that the economy grew by over 10 per cent in 2007. In 2009, the economy continues to grow as an open, market based economy, providing a stable base for a more prosperous Solomon Islands.
Around 80 per cent of working age people in Solomon Islands are engaged in the non-monetary (or subsistence) economy. This means that agriculture is one of the most important sectors of the economy.
Logging activities have recently been one of Solomon Islands most important sources of economic growth. But this source of growth is unsustainable. The country is therefore broadening the base of the economy, with mining, agriculture exports, fisheries, and tourism all being targeted for fast economic growth.
The security and safety that RAMSI brought to Solomon Islands in 2003 has also provided a strong base for economic growth. New investors in the country are now able to start businesses with a renewed sense of confidence and certainty about the future.
Processes for starting a new business in Solomon Islands are also more streamlined, with a new Foreign Investment Act allowing investment applications to be turned around usually within five working days. The introduction of a new Companies Act in 2009 will make it even simpler to start and operate a business in Solomon Islands.
And because of this, new businesses are already getting underway in the main sectors of the Solomon Islands economy. A gold mine on Guadalcanal is expected to start producing gold by early 2010. International airlines are now competing vigorously on routes to and from Solomon Islands. And the Solomon Taiyo company is producing tuna for export markets around the world.
With bountiful oceans, beautiful scenery, and rich mineral deposits, this is only the beginning for a new and revitalised Solomon Islands economy.
Solomon Islands lie out of mass tourist routes. There are no luxury resorts. The archipelago offers one of the richest on the earth underwater world, miles of lonely sandy beaches and wonderful sense of calm