According to COUNTRYAAH, the economy of the Solomon Islands is partly based on commercial exploitation of the country’s natural resources, which is largely controlled by enterprises established in other countries, and utilization of the resources for self-sufficiency. The transition from natural housekeeping to modern monetary economics is slow. Agriculture (including forestry and fishing) contributed in 2003 with approx. 48% of gross domestic product (GDP).
Despite white sandy beaches and other inviting nature, tourism is modest. Violent unrest has frightened many tourists. The number of visitors dropped from over 25,000 in 1998 to just 1718 in 2003. Following the Australian intervention, the number rose to close to 10,000 in 2004. Diving at the coral reefs is popular. The island nation has few tourist facilities.
Agriculture, forestry and fishing
About. 75% of the working population was employed wholly or partly in agriculture. Most are grown on small farms, but there are also plantation operations, with the cultivation of palm trees (for the production of palm oil and copra), cocoa and rice. Also some production of spices and honey for export. For their own and local consumption, especially sweet potatoes, taro, yams and various vegetables and fruits are grown. Pigs and cattle are especially kept from livestock.
About. 2/3 of the land area has been covered by tropical rainforest, but an explosive increase in harvesting since the 1980s, partly also rovhugst, has gradually reduced the forest area. A number of agencies, including the World Bank, have warned that the high felling will lead to rapid deforestation of the islands. Australia and the EU reduced their assistance to the country because of this. In 1998, some restrictions were imposed on the harvest, but this led to a state financial crisis. The environmental and economic consequences of the harvest have also been a political issue since the turn of the millennium. A number of violent confrontations between locals and foreign carpenters have been reported. In 2004, prey on several islands in the western region attracted international attention. The islands became almost scarred in a few weeks by carpentry companies who took care of themselves. This led to new accusations against politicians for bribery and corruption. After Solomon Mamaloni’s three governments in the 1990s gave the companies freer rein, it was tightened somewhat under Prime Minister Allan Kemakeza’s government (2001–05).
Offshore, considerable fishing is conducted, including tuna. A significant part of the catch is exported frozen to Japan, Fiji and Thailand, where it is further processed. Occasionally, the commercial catch has ruined the conditions for local fishermen fishing for their own consumption and the local market. Some production of seaweed.
Mining and industry
The nation’s gold mine in Gold Rigde came into production in 1991. It is operated somewhat recovery of gold. It is a problem that large amounts of gold are smuggled out of the country annually. Unused deposits of bauxite, phosphate, copper, lead, zinc, silver, cobalt and nickel. Energy is mainly produced from hydropower.
Industry (including mining) employed 13.7% of the working population in 1993 and contributed 13.3% of GDP (1996). The industry is essentially based on the processing of raw materials from agriculture and fisheries, including canning and freezing of fish, sawmill and furniture industry. Otherwise, boatbuilding, clothing and crafts are being run. Shells jewelry is made for tourist purposes and for export.
Timber has long been the main export commodity; in 2003 amounted to tropical timber 2/3 of total exports. Most were still exported as untreated round timber. Fish is the second largest export item. War and unrest around the turn of the millennium hit the export sector hard, especially by palm oil. Traditionally, copra has been an important export item, but in recent years has lost its importance. However, more and more cocoa is exported. The main import goods are machinery, finished goods, foodstuffs and fuels. Most of the imports come from Australia, Japan and Singapore. Exports go to Japan, China, South Korea and the Philippines.
Transport and Communications
The Solomon Islands have no rail, and the road network is poor. Between the islands, the inhabitants usually paddle in canoes, while goods transport is carried by hundreds of larger vessels to important ports such as Honiara, Yandina and Noro. Regular boat connections exist to several countries in the region, as well as Asia and Europe. The main ports are Honiara, Yandina, Noro and Gizo. From two international airports, flights go to Australia, Papua New Guinea and Fiji. Solomon Airlines operates approx. 25 smaller places in the eye nation.
- According to AllCityPopulation, the capital city of Solomon Islands is Honiara with a population of 81,800 (2018). Other major cities include Auki, Gizo, Noro.