Delayed government payments frustrate Solomons businesses

Contractors in Solomon Islands say delayed payments from the government are an impediment to their businesses and the economy.

The sentiment was revealed by a business confidence survey conducted by the Solomons Chamber of Commerce.

Its chief executive Dennis Meone said while the majority of respondents were optimistic about 2018, delayed payments were causing problems.

"The biggest impediment that most of our members are having is getting paid on time," he said.

"So there's a lot of our members that are contractors. Often there's a delay from six to eight months. So that had a huge impact not only on those businesses but also the spinoffs in terms of their staff but also spinoffs in the economy."

Mr Meone said he would present the survey's findings to the government in February and discuss ways to collectively resolve the issues.

Business confidence

Meanwhile, the majority of respondents to the survey said they were optimistic that there would be improvements this year.

61 percent of the 74 companies surveyed by the chamber believed their businesses would strengthen in 2018.

Mr Meone said the survey also shows companies expect to invest in new infrastructure.

"It's basically buildings and structures and of course machinery and equipment. This means that there could be expansions and investment in office complex, whether it’s an improvement in factories, warehouse or even storage, including investing in manufacturing machines, could be heavy plant and probably investment in new vehicles," he said.

Mr Meone said the companies would like to see the government in infrastructure, too, such as roads and internet services.