Improving the Enabling Environment in the Solomon Islands for Increased Trade and Investment

Enhanced Domestic Market Integration Stimulates Local Industries

Improving the enabling environment for increased trade and investment in the Solomon Islands is imperative for fostering sustainable economic growth. As a small island developing economy, the Solomon Islands face significant challenges that hinder the generation of economies of scale necessary for substantial private sector expansion. Factors such as fragmented domestic markets, limited connectivity to global value chains, and geographical remoteness from major markets exacerbate these obstacles.

Boosting Solomon Islands’ Business Reach Through Enterprise-Driven Approach

Collage of four images showing US government and Solomon Island government and private sector officials working together.
Various photos with U.S. Ambassador Yastishock with Solomon Islands Private Sector and Government Officials; See full caption details below.

In response to these challenges, and as part of the USAID-funded US Support for Economic Growth in Asia (US-SEGA) program, Cadmus led the Solomon Islands Strengthening Competitiveness, Agriculture, Livelihoods, and Environment (SI-SCALE) project, which aims to establish transparent trade and investment regimes. Across a range of activities, the SI-SCALE program worked to enhance governance of critical resources and foster sustainable development for the small island state.

Under the SI-SCALE mandate to enhance the enabling environment for trade and investment, the Cadmus team collaborated closely with the Solomon Islands National Government, the Malaita Provincial Government, and the private sector to implement the SCALE Trade and Investment (SCALE-T&I) activity. This opportunity provided technical assistance through an enterprise-driven approach, aiming to create a competitive business environment and stimulate growth and economic expansion in the private sector. Specifically, the program focused on enhancing the capacity of export-potential and export-ready businesses in the Solomon Islands while also strengthening end-market linkages to regional markets and the United States.

Promoting Marketing Access and Fair Trade Practices

Private sector support initiatives included enhancing collaboration between USAID and the local private sector, increasing the capacity of private sector actors to export to international markets through training programs, promoting familiarity with the U.S. market through study tours and events, and facilitating market linkages between local businesses and target end markets.

Additionally, SCALE-T&I supported the Solomon Islands Government to improve the enabling environment for trade and business. This support included aligning biosecurity regulations with international standards, developing strategies to promote market access for Solomon Island food and agricultural products, promoting fair trading practices and transparency, supporting cooperative development, and digitalizing business licensing and permitting processes.

Through these collaborative efforts, SCALE T&I aims to catalyze sustainable economic development in the Solomon Islands by fostering a conducive environment that encourages and facilitates increased trade and investment. The private sector and the Solomon Islands government will continue to build off of the momentum started by SCALE-T&I to improve the business-enabling environment and seek out export markets for Solomon Islands goods. US-SEGA will continue to support the private sector in the Solomon Islands through the support to the American Chamber of Commerce Coral Sea, which is scoping out an expansion to the Solomon Islands.

*Full Photo Caption as shown above (upper left corner, clockwise): U.S. Ambassador Yastishock with Solomon Islands Private Sector and Government Officials; Solomon Islands Government Officials; Director Francis Tsatsia, Director Morris Rapa’ai, and Director Geoffrey Dan Houua participate on a panel on SCALE T&I implementation; U.S. Ambassador Yastishock providing opening remarks to the closing ceremony; USAID Country Coordinator, William Pryor, moderating a panel on Private Sector Development in the Solomon Islands with SIWIBA CEO Rachel Rahii and SICCI Chair Qila Tuhanuku


The US Support for Economic Growth in Asia (US-SEGA) is a six-year project designed to improve the policy environment for sustainable economic growth and prosperity, improved regional economic cooperation, sound management of institutions and good governance throughout APEC and the Indo-Pacific, while also expanding markets for U.S. goods and services. In addition to strengthening the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, US-SEGA offers missions a flexible mechanism to respond quickly to new opportunities through targeted technical assistance and training. It particularly supports workstreams focused on current and emerging economic growth issues including digital economy, workforce development, supply chain connectivity, and women’s economic empowerment. The program also supports missions in their ongoing response to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

US-SEGA is managed by USAID’s Asia Bureau with partial funding and strategic direction from the U.S. Department of State.