SICCI hosts AGM, elects new Board

THE Solomon Islands Chamber Commerce and Industry (SICCI) now has a new Board that will lead its mandate for the next twelve (12) months.

The new Board for 2019-2020 was elected during the 42nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of SICCI on Wednesday 20th Mach 2019 at the Heritage Park Hotel in Honiara.

The new Board is led by Jay Bartlett, Director of Hatanga Limited who returned unopposed marking his fourth consecutive term as the SICCI Board Chair.

David Rupokets, Managing Director of Capitol Construction Pty Limited also returned unopposed as the Board Vice Chairman.

The other six SICCI Board Members are:

•          Ms Uta Temahua (Head of Human Resources & Support Services, Solomon Telekom Limited)

•          Ms Hilda Lamani (Manager, Star Supplies Company)

•          Ricky Fuoo (General Manager, Tropical Glass Aluminium (TGA)

•          Ms Belinda Botha (Owner and Operator of Dive Munda)

•          Craig Gibsone (General Manager Guadalcanal Plains Palm Oil Limited)

•          Sir Bruce Saunders (Managing Director, AJ & G Blum Limited)

Under the new SICCI constitution eight members are elected for the Board every year during the AGM, and another two are co-opted – meaning two more members will join upon being appointed by this new elected Board.

The SICCI Board of directors is made up of eight (8) members.

Chairman, Mr Bartlett in his remarks highlighted the work, progress and challenges faced by the Chamber over the past 12 months.

CEO, Ms Ata delivered a presentation on the 2017 Business Plan for the Chamber.

The Chamber’s 2018 Financial Statement was presented to members by outgoing Board Treasurer, Joseph Huta. 

Mr Bartlett thanked all the Board Members whom have contributed their time, energy and effort to progress the Chambers efforts.

“It is very much a voluntary undertaking, board members give up personal time to attend board meetings, planning sessions, key events and so forth. So for the Board members finishing their term now, thank you very much for volunteering your time and contributing your knowledge to try and make our society and country a better place to work and live,” he said.

The SICCI Chairman highlighted that the Board has also developed a Strategic Plan 2019 – 2023.

“This is in the final stages of development and we will be putting it out to Members for comments and feed-back before this new Board finalised it.

 We have also developed a 2019 Business Plan that will guide the secretariat as they operationalise and implement the strategic plan.”

“I strongly feel these are both essential to any member-driven organisation which also has a quite a short board tenure – it helps maintain strategic focus and business continuity through natural cycles of leadership turnover and external advocacy pressures.  Maintaining a good balance between proactive and reactive advocacy,” Mr Bartlett said.

Finally, the Chair also praised the members and particularly the Australian Government for their valuable financial support.

“To our platinum-level, gold level sponsors and all our members.  Thank you for maintaining your subscriptions and ongoing support.  Membership and sponsorship fees alone are not able to meet our costs and activities so the Australian Government through the High Commission has been our major donor and I would like to thank them for coming on-board and supporting the Chamber.

“We must acknowledge the vision behind this very important lifeline for the Chamber – national development outcomes through a vibrant private sector. The intention of this support is always to help us help ourselves. We are coming to the end of a 3-year funding cycle which we are negotiating through to continue for another 3 years. You will see when the Strategic Plan comes for your inputs, that financial sustainability is a key deliverable within the next 5 years.”

SICCI CEO, Ms Ata recapped on activities and key events that happened in 2018. She also outlined intentions for 2019 and what the Chamber is proposing to undertake in terms of activities, managing of resources including finances, and in terms of the focus for the Secretariat staff. 

“For 2019 members will look forward to the staple of trainings at corporate governance level, and for SME audience; the networking events, the information sessions as well as the high-level Prime Minister’s Breakfast, and Budget Analysis Breakfast.

There will be a Trade mission to PNG; and the Australia-Solomon Islands Business Forum.

“We are working with Government to realise their goals of an agribusiness forum with the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Commerce, as well as a national investment forum. The Business Excellence Awards will be held later this year as well.”

When outlining the intentions behind these trainings and events, she noted that: “The ultimate goal is that you value the services we provide, and can see the direct connection between the activities and the impacts on your business.”

“We are your organization, we value each and every interaction we have with you.  In that way, we can fulfil our mandate of being a member-driven organization that represents your concerns and realise economic growth in the country” she added.

SICCI is a key voice for business interests in the country. Its membership currently stands at more than 200 members who are businesses and affiliated members such as missions, educational institutions.

The Chamber works on behalf of members to realise economic growth in the country. 

Advocating on core business concerns such as tax reform, corruption, land reform, developing new sectors; and more broadly for a more conducive environment for business, SICCI ensures that it brings fully-informed perspectives based on the collective wisdom of its membership.


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