Visit affirms strong World Bank support to Solomon Islands
HONIARA, February 26, 2014 – Managing Director and World Bank Group Chief Financial Officer, Bertrand Badré is visiting Solomon Islands from February 26th to March 1st, where he will meet senior ministers of the Solomon Islands Government, donors and the private sector, and visit a number of major projects that the World Bank Group is supporting.
As a sign of the World Bank Group’s increased cooperation and support for the Solomon Islands, Mr. Badré will meet the Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo, and Minister of Finance and Treasury Rick Hou’enipwela, among other senior officials, and discuss the World Bank Group’s commitment to Solomon Islands in various areas, including: rural development, clean energy, fisheries resource management, climate change and disaster risk management, and private sector investments that enhance job creation and employment.
Mr. Badré is visiting the country after attending the G20 Finance Ministers meeting in Australia.
“It is my pleasure to make my first official visit to the Pacific region and to discuss how best the organization can support development progress in Solomon Islands, as the country looks to increase social and economic opportunities and secure sustainable economic growth,” said Mr. Badré.
Mr. Badré will use the occasion of his visit to demonstrate the strong commitment of the World Bank Group to the Government of Solomon Islands for a number of significant projects.
On Thursday, Mr. Badré will visit the Soltuna head office and processing facility at Noro in Western Province, where the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group has recently invested US$10 million to help the company expand its facilities.
The expansion of Soltuna is expected to create an additional 500 jobs, allowing the local women and economy to receive greater benefits from the income generated by the tuna industry, which is vital to the Solomon Islands economy.
The World Bank is also providing policy advice towards preparing the Tina River Hydropower Development Project, which aims at improving the cost, reliability, and spread of electricity throughout Solomon Islands.
Mr. Badré will be given an aerial tour of the area in Central Guadalcanal proposed for the Tina River Hydro Project, as well as meet with staff from the Project Office to get an overview of the current state of project preparation.
The Tina River Hydro project is one of the largest proposed development projects in the country’s history, with the potential to replace around 75 percent of the diesel-powered generation capacity on the Honiara grid with clean, renewable hydropower.
During the visit to Western Province, the Managing Director will stop by at Enoghae village, near Noro, where the Rural Development Program (RDP), a multi-donor program financed by the Bank, Australia, European Union, International Fund for Agriculture Development and the Government, has supported the community to build a water supply system for its primary school. This is among the 370 community projects supported by RDP across the country.
Mr. Badré is responsible for the financial and risk management strategies of the World Bank Group and for the institutions that make up the Group.
This includes development of new, innovative financial products and services, oversight of the financial reporting, and mobilization of financial resources in alignment with the Group’s strategy.
Mr. Badré contributes to the international dialogue on financial standards and best practices, primarily through his representation of the Group at the Financial Stability Board.