The NTDC, which meets on a quarterly basis, is a senior level forum for decision making and coordination of trade development policy in Solomon Islands including trade policy formulation and trade mainstreaming into national development plans.
It also ensures effective coordination amongst government ministries, private sector organizations and civil society organizations.
Cabinet endorsed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade (MFAET) to facilitate the work of NTDC in December 2012. The NTDC is comprised of representatives from various Government Ministries, private sector organizations and non-governmental organizations.
It is chaired by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade and reports to Cabinet through the Minister as and when determined necessary by the Council, but not less than once in a year.
Speaking during the opening of the meeting, the vice chairman of the council and Director for industries Riley Mesepitu is pleased to see the commitment of members to attend the NTDC meeting, which is a key forum to discuss and decide on important issues of Trade and development in this country.
“I am confident that the deliberation of this Council will enable us to maximize the benefits of global trading opportunities.
“I would also like to convey my sincere appreciation and deep gratitude for the support provided by our development partners particularly for trade and development of the country.
“As members of the NTDC, you’re to oversee and provide guidance and oversight on the issues relating to trade development processes including trade policy formulation and implementation, trade mainstreaming into national development plans and ensure effective coordination and buy-in among various Government institutions, the private sector, civil society and other stakeholders, in Solomon Islands,” Mesepitu said.
During the meeting, members of the council were given updates on the various trade negotiations like the EPA, MSGTA3, and Pacer Plus and on where the country is at with the negotiations
The council was also briefed on the ongoing work of the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) tier two project which recently assisted SINU, SIVB, SIWIBA and four local eco tourism operators.