Picture of Manasseh Sogavare (Solomon Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website)

HONIARA, 07 OCTOBER 2019 (SOLOMON STAR)— Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare will travel to Beijing, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) capital for a first ever official visit since establishing diplomatic ties fortnight ago.

A statement from the Prime Minister Press Secretariat last night said the trip comes at the invitation of the President of the PRC’s Government Xi Jinping following establishment of the country’s diplomatic ties with PRC.

“This visit follows an invitation from the President of the PRC’s Government Xi Jinping after the historical signing of diplomatic recognitions by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade Jeremiah Manele and State Councillor Wang Yi of the People’s Republic of China on 21st September 2019 in Beijing, PRC.

“This is a historical and significant visit as it will be the first time for a Prime Minister from Solomon Islands to travel to the People’s Republic of China under a diplomatic framework,” the statement said.

During the official visit Prime Minister Sogavare will be meeting with the President and other high-level dignitaries from the Government of the People’s Republic of China including visits to areas of significant importance to both Solomon Islands and PRC.

A number of memorandum of understandings (MOU) will be executed between the Government of Solomon Islands and the People’s Republic of China during the Prime Minister’s Official Visit.

They include deals on education, economic and technical cooperation and foreign affairs.

“These MoUs will pave the way for both countries to strengthen and enhance cooperation in each respective field of engagement,” the statement said.

The Prime Minister’s delegation will include government ministers, government officials, representatives of State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) and local businesses representatives.

In Prime Minister’s absence, the Minister for Infrastructure Development Manasseh Maelanga will be acting Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, the Guadalcanal province is looking forward to renew, strengthen and improve its foreign policy with its global sister relations, says Premier Francis Sade.

Currently the province has sister relationships with Guangdong Province (Mainland China), Guadalcanal, Seville (Spain), and Saskatchewan of Canada.

The province in a statement stated that one of the major aspects of its policy strategy that will be launch on 11 October is to renew and strengthen its existing foreign relationships and intends to seek further sister relationship with other provinces.

It states that as one of the leading Province in the country in terms of sister-relationships, the Policy will renew and strengthen its existing relationship with the three overseas provinces.

“The sister relationship with these three overseas provinces, had benefited Guadalcanal Province in the past especially in terms of agriculture and transportation services, tourism, training and labor mobility.

“The GP Executive is looking forward to expanding the Guangdong – Guadalcanal relationship relating to agriculture and fishery; strengthen the sister-relationship with Guadalcanal, Seville (Spain),” it stated.

The provincial level foreign policy intends to seek further sister relationship with other provinces and states in the next four years to create partnership in achieving some of its policy objectives especially in the investment and the social sectors, the statement added. (PACNEWS)