22 November 2016

Expanded online registry featuring foreign investment and business names services launched in Honiara

Amila Salgado from ADB's Solomon Islands Extended Mission speaks at the launch of Solomon Islands expanded online business registry.
Applications for foreign investment licenses and business name registrations can now be lodged online and processed in 24 hours thanks to upgrades to Solomon Islands’ business registry.

The registry has been accepting online applications for company registrations since it was established with PSDI support in 2010. It has now been expanded so that applications for foreign investment licenses and business name registrations can also be lodged online.
A notice published in the Island Sun newspaper highlights
the benefits of the expanded online registry. 

Listen to PSDI's International Business Law Reform Expert Aaron Levine discuss the new registry on Radio Australia and Radio New Zealand International

The expanded registry was launched by Hunter Masuguria, Acting Permanent Secretary of Solomon Islands Ministry of Commerce, Industries, Labour and Immigration, this morning at a ceremony attended by representatives from the private sector and the Australian and New Zealand governments.

“Accessible and transparent foreign investment processes help attract the skills and capital needed to accelerate national development,” said Emma Fan, Regional Director of ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office. “By making it easier for foreign investors to do business in Solomon Islands and for local businesses to partner with foreign investors, this upgraded online registry removes a barrier to increased private sector-led economic growth.”

The online service will dramatically reduce the time needed to apply for a foreign investment certificate.

“Would-be foreign investors previously had to engage the services of an agent, or apply in-person in our office in Honiara, a process that typically took around 10 days,” said Invest Solomons Director Derick Aihari “Using the online registry applications can now be done anywhere and a Certificate for Foreign Investment could be issued within 24 hours.”

Similarly, business name registrations, which previously had to be done in person and took around a week to process, can now be done online and processed within a day. This will be of particular benefit to the almost-two-thousand business names applicants who have to travel from other islands each year to register their business names.

PSDI's International Business Law Reform Expert Aaron Levine delivers a
training course for business people on the functions of the new registry.
The new services available through the online registry make it possible for a business person to register as a foreign investor, incorporate a company, and register business names all in one sitting.
As the registry is searchable, key details of all companies, businesses, and foreign investors can now be verified by anyone anytime. The online system will also collect and analyze detailed data on gender, business sectors and applicants’ locations, which will assist government policy formulation.

The updated registry can be accessed at www.solomonbusinessregistry.gov.sb