Productive Capacity and Trade in the Solomon Islands

CDP Background Paper No. 31

By Daniel Gay

Economic growth, environmental sustainability and human development in the Solomon Islands have lagged much of the Pacific region since independence in 1978. Trade contributes insufficiently to development, partly because of the dominance of the logging industry but also due to the lack of emphasis on building productive capacities with a view to economic transformation toward higher productivity activities. Targeted soft industrial policies may help address these shortcomings, in the form of sectoral prioritisation; linkages policies; joint government-donor support to build appropriate infrastructure; and the development of human resources in specific areas. Government institutional capacity will only be allowed to improve if policymakers are permitted true ownership over policies and if they are allowed to make mistakes.

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