The   third Melanesia Spearhead Group (MSG) investment roadshow and Trade fair has begun in Noumea, New Caledonia yesterday with a trade and investment seminar.

Discussions took place between relevant agencies and private sector representatives on various trade and investment opportunities.

The discussions also focused on how investors can take advantage of the potential opportunities and how Governments can help remove impediments to investment within the MSG countries.

The seminar will be followed by a two-day trade fair, which begins on Thursday.

Madame Caroline Machoro-Reignier from the FLNKS officially opened the inaugural event on behalf of the Chair of the Trade Ministers Meeting (TMM).

In her keynote address yesterday, Madame Caroline said leaders from the five Melanesian countries must help their private sectors in order for trade to prosper between in Melanesia.

“Without the private sector, our countries will have high unemployment rates and this would not reflect well on our countries,”

“I urge our leaders to make use of the recently concluded MSGTA 3 agreement so that our countries can move forward economically, “Madame Caroline said.

The MSG Trade Agreement, the most successful of its kind in the Pacific, was originally signed in 1993 to spearhead economic integration in our region then revised in 2005 from a positive list to a negative list, and now being re-negotiated, represents a significant shift from the current goods-only agreement to incorporate services, labor mobility and investment.

Trade is one of the key objectives of the MSG amongst other areas and the MSG’s vision for the next 25 years will focus on Economic co-operation and integration and this will remain at the forefront of the MSG objectives.

The aim of the event is to showcase the possible areas within Melanesian countries available investment opportunities as well as potential markets.

Solomon Islands is represented at the event by 9 private sector companies.