From Local to Global: Empowering SMEs in the Solomon Islands for Export Success
The Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) recently received a two-day collaborative training hosted by the US-Support for Economic Growth in Asia (US-SEGA). The training aimed to support the development of export strategies for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Solomon Islands and increase their understanding of technical barriers to trade (TBTs). This training was a follow-up to a previous export promotion training held in February that focused on market identification, linkages, and trade negotiations.
The training began with opening remarks from Solomon Islands Chargé d’Affaires, Russell Comeau, who highlighted the importance of the private sector in the Solomon Islands. The first session focused on the benefits of exporting and helped participants understand regulatory requirements, best practices, and the elements of a successful export strategy. On the second day, the training continued with a focus on developing export strategies that consider TBTs, preparing and pricing products for export, overcoming challenges, and ensuring business sustainability. The training concluded with an interactive session using a strategy tool to accelerate the development and refinement of export strategies.
Participants shared positive feedback during SICCI’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) that followed the training. In the future, the program will address measures that restrict exports, particularly those affecting the agribusiness sector, such as sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) requirements, shipping, and cargo challenges. The ultimate goal of the program is to enable Solomon Islands SMEs to successfully export their products to key markets, such as the United States, Australia, and other Pacific Island States.
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.