Solomon Islands national Government launched its first National E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap 2022-2027 (the Strategy) on 28 April 2023. The Strategy is expected to accelerate digitization, spur the development of e-commerce in the country and boost trade.
The Strategy envisages that, by 2027, e-commerce will be supporting businesses of all sizes and consumers across Solomon Islands to integrate domestic markets, increase exports, create employment opportunities, and spur innovation. Its aspirations are captured by the five overarching outcomes:
- Increased consumer uptake of e-commerce across diverse segments of society
- Increased adoption of e-commerce tools and services by businesses of all sizes
- Deepened integration of rural and urban domestic markets
- Widespread availability and uptake of digital payment solutions
- Enhanced export competitiveness in priority sectors, led by e-commerce
These outcomes were agreed through extensive consultations jointly lead by the Ministry of Communication and Aviation (MCA) and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration (MCILI), which began in 2022 and benefitted from inputs from policymakers and the private sector. The Strategy is expected to leverage e-commerce to improve livelihoods in Solomon Islands, including for youths, women, and those living in rural areas.
Both Ministers of MCA and MCILI made an address at the launch event. MCA Minister Peter Channel Agovaka emphasised that a whole-of-government approach will be needed to build a digital economy that works for all Solomon Islanders, including for youths, women and those living in the rural areas. The MCILI Minister Frederek Kologeto added that his team aims to ensure that e-commerce and digital trade brings benefits to all Solomon Islanders.
The Strategy received technical assistance from UNCTAD and UNCDF and financing from Australia, and the Ministers acknowledged the support of the Australian Government, the UNCDF, donor partners, and stakeholders for their support towards the Strategy development.
The Australian High Commissioner, Mr Rod Hilton, expressed positivity towards the first National E-commerce Strategy and said it would support jobs and economic growth across all provinces.
The Strategy proposes a sound governance system with a permanent National E-commerce Steering Committee providing support, guidance and strategic oversight of the Strategy implementation. The Committee will be co-chaired by the MCILI and MCA.
The adoption of the Strategy is not only a significant milestone for Solomon Islands but also for the Pacific Region as it directly implements Measure 1.1.1 of the Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap.
Download the Strategy: Solomon Islands National E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap 2022-2027