According to allcitypopulation, the Solomon Islands are located in the South Pacific Ocean, northeast of Australia. The archipelago is made up of six major islands and over 900 smaller islands. The Solomon Islands have a total land area of 28,400 square kilometers and are home to around 690,000 people.
The Solomon Islands have a tropical climate with temperatures ranging from 21 to 32 degrees Celsius (70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit). The country experiences a wet season from November to April and a dry season from May to October. According to Petwithsupplies, the capital city of Solomon Islands is Honiara with a population of 81,800 (2018). Other major cities include Auki, Gizo, Noro.
The economy of the Solomon Islands is heavily reliant on agriculture, forestry, fishing and tourism. Agriculture accounts for over 40% of GDP while fishing and forestry account for around 20%. Tourism also plays an important role in the economy with many visitors coming to enjoy the pristine beaches and coral reefs that make up part of the country’s landscape.
The main agricultural products grown in the Solomon Islands include coconuts, copra (dried coconut meat), cocoa, palm oil, bananas, sweet potatoes and taro. Fishing is also important with tuna being the most commonly caught fish species followed by mackerels, barracuda and skipjack tuna. Forestry is another important industry with mahogany being one of the main products produced along with sandalwood trees and other hardwoods used for furniture production.
The government has taken steps to diversify its economy by encouraging investment in natural gas production as well as tourism development projects such as resorts on some of its more remote islands. In addition, there are plans for infrastructure development including roads, ports and airports which would help facilitate trade between countries in the region as well as foreign investment into the country’s economy.
Foreign Trade of Solomon Islands
The Solomon Islands are a small, open economy and foreign trade plays an important role on economic development. In 2018, the total value of exports was US$135 million while imports totalled US$536 million. The main exports of the Solomon Islands are timber and timber products, fish and fish products, copra (dried coconut meat) and cocoa.
The country’s main trading partners for both exports and imports include Australia, Japan, Singapore, China and New Zealand. Australia is the largest export partner with over 40% of total exports going to this country while Japan is the largest import partner with around 25% of total imports coming from this country. Other important import partners include Serbia which accounts for 1%.
The Solomon Islands is part of a number of regional trade agreements including the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus, Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). These agreements provide preferential market access for products from member countries as well as encouraging investment into the region.
In recent years there have been efforts to diversify export markets with countries such as India becoming an increasingly important trading partner. India has become one of the main destinations for Solomon Islands seafood exports with over 70% of these products going to this country in 2018.
In addition to traditional trading partners, there are also opportunities for increased trade with other countries such as China which has become an increasingly important investor in the region through its Belt & Road Initiative. This initiative aims to increase infrastructure links between China and other countries in Asia-Pacific which could provide new opportunities for increased trade between these two countries in future years.
Major Trading Partners of Solomon Islands
Australia is the largest export partner of Solomon Islands with over 40% of total exports going to this country. Australia is closely followed by Japan which is the largest import partner with around 25% of total imports coming from this country. Other important trading partners include Singapore, China and New Zealand.
Singapore is an important trading partner for Solomon Islands due to its strategic location providing access to markets in both South East Asia and Oceania. The majority of exports from Solomon Islands are timber and timber products, fish and fish products, copra (dried coconut meat) and cocoa which are mainly destined for this country.
New Zealand has traditionally been an important trading partner for the Solomon Islands with imports from this country accounting for 10% of total imports in 2018. Most of these imports consist of manufactured goods such as machinery, transport equipment and chemicals while exports include raw materials such as timber and fish products.
China has become an increasingly important investor in the region through its Belt & Road Initiative which could provide new opportunities for increased trade between these two countries in future years. In 2018, China was the second largest destination for Solomon Island’s exports with around 15% of total exports going to this country while it was also one of the main sources of imports into the country accounting for around 10% of total imports.
Finally, India has become one of the main destinations for Solomon Island’s seafood exports with over 70% of these products going to this country in 2018. India is also playing an increasingly important role as a source of imports into the region with products such as machinery, transport equipment and chemicals being imported into Solomon Islands from this country.
Major Imports and Exports of Solomon Islands
The Solomon Islands is heavily dependent on imports and exports for its economic growth. Major imports to the country include machinery, transport equipment, chemicals, petroleum and related products, food and beverages, manufactured goods and other commodities. In 2018, the total value of imports was estimated to be around $1.2 billion US dollars with the main import partners being Japan (25%), Australia (15%), China (10%), New Zealand (8%) and India (7%).
On the export side, the main products exported from Solomon Islands are timber and timber products, fish and fish products, copra (dried coconut meat) and cocoa. The largest export partner for Solomon Islands is Australia which accounted for over 40% of total exports in 2018 followed by Japan with 18%, Singapore with 15%, China with 10% and New Zealand with 8%.
In terms of specific commodities exported from Solomon Islands, timber is one of the most important exports accounting for around 45% of total exports in 2018 while fish products accounted for 17%. Other major exports include copra which accounted for 15% of total exports while cocoa accounted for 5%.
Finally, seafood has become increasingly important in recent years with over 70% of these products going to India in 2018. This has been driven by an increase in demand from this country as well as a decrease in demand from traditional markets such as Europe and Japan due to changing tastes among consumers.