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Asia Pulse News: SHELL'S WITHDRAWAL FROM PACIFIC DISAPPOINTS SOLOMONS GOV'T

HONIARA, Jan 24 Asia Pulse – The recent announcement by oil company, Shell of its planned withdrawal from the Pacific, including the Solomon Islands, is disappointing says caretaker Prime Minister Sir Allan Kemakeza.
Sir Allan said it is disappointing from the perspective of the region's loss of a major international company.
Last year Shell announced its withdrawal from the smaller Pacific Island states with claims that it wanted to concentrate on bigger projects.
Sir Allan said Shell has clearly stated the commercial reasoning for its business decision and the Solomon Islands Government respects that decision.
“The government recognizes the current decision to withdraw must be viewed in light of the Pacific market size relative to other global opportunities for Shell.
“The government acknowledges the commitment Shell has made to the country over many decades, including its support during several difficult years.”
Sir Allan added that the government anticipated that Shell would continue an association with Solomon Islands via supply of oil products to the successful purchaser of Shell's business.
Shell's existing business is a large and economically critical operation, and its sale presents an opportunity for local business to participate in this essential industry, Sir Allan said.
“Government policy consistently advocates local talent and ownership, and encourages Shell to give priority to suitable local businesses with the capability to purchase and manage the business as a going concern.
“At the same time, it is important that an appropriate level of competition is maintained in the industry to avoid any undesirable monopoly outcomes caused by Shells withdrawal,” Mr Kemakeza said.
(Pacnews)

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