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Solomon Islands’ Ambassador to the United Nations and the United States of America, Robert Sisilo, completed his cross-accreditations by presenting his Letter of Appointment to Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau on Monday.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare signed the letter, which appoints  Mr Sisilo as Solomon Islands’ non-resident High Commissioner to Canada.
A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade said climate change and labour mobility were part of a discussion after the presentation.
Mr Sisilo commended Mr. Trudeau and his government on their unwavering commitment to the Paris Agreement and their financial support to the Green Climate Fund and other funds related to climate change.
The Green Climate Fund has provided the Solomon Islands with about $90 million dollars to finance the Tina River Hydro Project in Central Guadalcanal.
Acknowledging the warm relationship between the two countries, Prime Minister Trudeau assured Mr Sisilo of Canada’s commitment to the Paris Agreement and his awareness of the challenges rising sea levels pose for Solomon Islands.
On labour mobility, Mr Sisilo noted the two Solomon Islanders who were recently granted Canadian work permits under the immigration nomination program with help from Canadian International Training & Education Corp (CITREC) and Guadalcanal Province.
He said such labour schemes make a difference in the Solomon Islands, where unemployment is high.
Mr Sisilo and Prime Minister Trudeau also discussed the export of cassava, ginger and other crops to Canada.
Solomon Islands Honorary Consul General to Canada, Ashwant Dwivedi accompanied Mr. Sisilo to his appointments and will continue discussions with government officials on labour mobility and agricultural exports to Canada.

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The Government is eyeing the ginger market in Canada.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said the agriculture sector is where most Solomon Islanders can actively participate in economic development.

He says there is currently an opportunity for Solomon Islands to export ginger to Canada.

“And there’s a big huge market for ginger right now in Canada as we are talking, they want 10 containers every month and this not a difficult thing for us to do. You take 200 women in all constituency to plant ginger and you can sustain 10 containers every month, that’s what we are talking about here.”

SIBC News understands Solomon Islands has also been exploring the possibility of engaging in a large-scale export of cassava to the Canadian market.

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Prime Minister Sogavare, (Right), with the Solomon Islands Honorary Consul General to Canada, His Excellency Dwivedi.

Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has praised Solomon Islands growing relations with Canada, saying he looks forward to further strengthening the bilateral ties between the two countries and also fully utilising the labour mobility opportunities which Canada presents.

The Prime Minister said the recent success of two Guadalcanal – CITREC graduates in Canada as seasonal workers further present opportunities for the Solomon Islands Government to consider Canada as a labour mobility partner in areas of tourism and hospitality.

The two graduates Amelia Muse and Careka Volly have returned home after ‘successfully’ completing their four months employment in the Province of Saskatchewan in Canada. They were employed as kitchen helpers.

Prime Minister Sogavare made the remarks during his meeting with the Solomon Islands Honorary Consul General to Canada, Excellency Ashwant Dwivedi, at the Prime Minister’s Office last week.

The Prime Minister is of the view that he would seriously consider and pursue these opportunities with the help of the Honorary Consul General to Canada in his capacity as the as Chairman of CITREC.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Sogavare also praised the Premier of Guadalcanal Hon Anthony Veke and his provincial government for their commitment to aggressively pursue labour mobility opportunities with Canada.

“I must congratulate Guadalcanal Provincial government and Premier Veke for this labour mobility arrangement with Canada. This partnership has surely started to yield results and I feel that there are many others who can take advantage of this opportunity at the national level.”

“I am indeed very encouraged by the earnings of the two workers from Guadalcanal Province during their seasonal employment in Canada,” Prime Minister Sogavare added.

The Prime Minister said should the earnings be consistent, Solomon Islands like other countries in the world can place itself as an exporter of seasonal workers to Canada.

Solomon Islands sends its workers to Australia and New Zealand as part of its seasonal employment arrangements with these two countries. This year Canada became the third country to provide seasonal employment for Solomon Islanders when Guadalcanal Province sent two of its people for seasonal jobs in Canada.

Consul General Dwivedi told Prime Minister Sogavare that Canada presents great opportunities for Solomon Islands seasonal workers.

“Based on immigration reports in 2014, a total of 278,980 foreign workers were employed in Canada. I’m sure in future, Solomon Islands can add to these numbers,” Consul General Dwivedi said.

He further said the foreign remittances foreign workers in Canada send to their home countries are calculated at over Can$24- Billion annually.

“Mr Prime Minister I hope you will find these numbers compelling to engage with Canada’s labour mobility sector. I look forward to working to strengthen labour mobility partnership for the benefit of people of Solomon Islands,” Consul General Dwivedi said.

Consul General Dwivedi also discussed with Prime Minister Sogavare the various opportunities that Solomon Islands can seek in the agriculture sector with Canada, saying that Canadian businesses consider Solomon Islands as a country that can become a supply source for fruits and vegetables.

Consul General Dwivedi who is Canadian International Training & Education Corp (CITREC) board chairman met with the Prime Minister whilst on a three- day visit to the country.

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 Saskatchewan Governments Minister for Economy Honourable Jeremy Harrison has praised his provinces partnership with Guadalcanal Province saying it has helped local Saskatchewan employers fill needs that the province had experienced last summer.

“This partnership has helped local employers fill needs that they had this past summer and will assist the Guadalcanal students build their careers back home in Solomon’s” Minister of the Economy Harrison said.

“Saskatchewan is known all over the world for our brand of hospitality and we take pride in the fact that students from around the world, including the Solomon Islands, come to our province to gain valuable experience in our tourism industry,” Minister Harrison said.

Guadalcanal Premier Anthony Veke has praised the People and Government of Saskatchewan saying the Province and its citizens are playing an important role in building Guadalcanal’s economy.

Premier Veke’s comment follows return of two Guadalcanal citizens from Saskatchewan who had been employed in the Province as part of a 4-month seasonal worker program.

“ I commend the leadership of Premier Brad Wall and his government and the people of Saskatchewan and especially those businesses who have come forward to provide seasonal employment to my people. Thank you very much for this opportunity,” Premier Veke said.

This educational partnership support’s the entry of recent tourism graduates from the Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands by allowing them to work and gain first-hand experience in Saskatchewan’s renowned hospitality sector. The two graduates arrived in the spring of 2016, and they were employed as Kitchen Helpers at a restaurant facility in Regina.

“ As stated by the Saskatchewan Government member in the legislature in October 2015 this partnership is helping to meet labour shortages in the Saskatchewan province which continues to experience shortages of workers in its tourism and hospitality sector,” Premier Veke said.

This is a partnership between Canadian International Training & Education Corp. Saskatchewan Hotel and Hospitality Association, the Saskatchewan Tourism Education Council, and the Solomon Islands province of Guadalcanal.

Premier Veke said that the steps taken by the Saskatchewan Government and stakeholders in supporting seasonal workers being sent for employment opportunity in the province has opened opportunities for Guadalcanal residents to build their lives and help build tourism standards of the province.

“The most important aspect of this partnership is that what our citizens learn being employed in Saskatchewan over the 4 month period is what they bring back to Solomon Islands tourism sector and the remittances they contribute to the economy,” Premier Veke said.

Premier Veke said that in particular he is grateful to Minister Harrison who sees this partnership as a learning and earning opportunity. “We have a tourism industry that is recording increase in visitor arrival and every aspect of training helps us improve our services,” Premier Veke said.

Province of Guadalcanal in Solomon Islands has been praised by the Canadian Hotel and Tourism sector for being the leaders of the labour mobility partnership between the Government and People of Canada and Solomon Islands.

Just recently two GP-CITREC graduates Amelia Muse and Careka Volly have been praised as those who have proven themselves as Guadalcanal’s best brand ambassadors for displaying what they have learned in their classroom setting and to excel in the workplace.

Tourism and Hospitality Association leaders following deployment of two seasonal workers from the province of Guadalcanal which Canadian hotel says workers have exceeded industry expectations and has opened significant opportunities for more hiring of CITREC-GP graduates in the summer of 2017 by the industry.

Both Amelia Muse and Careka Volly were employed as seasonal workers for four months. They were employed in Canada as Temporary Foreign Workers and were granted a 4-month work permit upon their arrival into Canada in July of this year. Both departed for Guadalcanal on Saturday successfully completing their 4 months tenure with the Canadian employer.

“ It was a true honour and pleasure to work with Careka Volly and Amelia Muse over the last 4 months.  It was inspiring to witness their skills improve to the level that they achieved in such a short period of time, Waterfront Beach Grill CEO Denny Joyal said in a statement.

“I appreciate the commitment and dedication they showed to both our business and to myself personally.  This program was a win for everyone involved and I look forward to participating in it in the future”. Mr. Joyal said.

“Our partnership with the government of the Solomon Islands, CITREC and employer Mr. Joyal has been incredible.  Two graduates arrived in the summer of 2016 to work at the Waterfront Beach Bar and Grill in Regina Beach and became the first workers to participate in this truly unique program and what I can confirm is that there is growing interest from my members to participate in similar opportunity next summer in 2017. This means more hiring from the Province of Guadalcanal of the CITREC-GP graduates,” President and CEO of Hotel & Hospitality Association in Canada Jim Bence said.

Mr. Bence said that as the first employer to work within the CITREC-GP program, Mr. Joyal took those first great steps into uncharted waters and embarked on a voyage that has set the framework for the future, continued success of the program.

“This truly is a huge win for the employer, the government of the Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, CITREC the SHHA and, most importantly, workers Amelia Muse and Careka Volly.  They return home with valuable tourism experience and fantastic memories of a wonderful Saskatchewan experience.”  President Bence said.