From Ocean Depths to International Tables

19 Dec 2023

SolTuna's Journey of Triumph with PACER Plus

HONIARA, Solomon Islands – For years, the Solomon Islands' pristine waters have cradled SolTuna, a leading tuna company, in their cerulean embrace. Amidst the ebb and flow of the tides, SolTuna battled daunting challenges, determined to deliver their prized tuna to the plates of Australians and New Zealanders. Their odyssey took a historic turn in 2020, when the Solomon Islands ratified the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus or PACER Plus, a unique development-centered trade agreement that transformed SolTuna's struggles into triumphs.

Fish unloading at the wharf in Noro, Solomon Islands. (Photo: SIBC)

"Before PACER Plus, SolTuna faced significant hurdles in exporting our tuna to Australia and New Zealand. Burdened by import duties, we found it hard to compete in these markets," recalled Mr. Mark Gibble, SolTuna's Business Development Manager.

Despite these barriers, SolTuna's spirit remained unyielding. Their commitment to quality and sustainability buoyed them through turbulent waters. With the ratification of PACER Plus, their efforts were not in vain. The agreement ushered in a new era, one where import duties were but a memory, paving the way for tariff-free exports.

"PACER Plus has been a game-changer. It ensures we no longer pay import duties, revitalising our exports to Australia and New Zealand," beamed Mr. Gribble.

In the wake of tariff liberation, SolTuna's exports soared. The aroma of freshly caught Solomon Islands tuna began gracing kitchens across Australia and New Zealand. But the impact transcended the realms of the market; it seeped into the heart of the Solomon Islands. With increased demand, SolTuna blossomed, sowing seeds of economic prosperity and job creation for the Pacific Island country.

SolTuna's surge in exports to Australia and New Zealand did more than boost the company's bottom line. It became a beacon of hope for the people of the Solomon Islands, heralding a wave of employment opportunities.

As SolTuna expanded its operations to meet the rising demand, a ripple effect of prosperity washed over the local communities. The increased production at SolTuna meant more hands were needed to harvest, process, and package the prized tuna, creating a surge in employment opportunities for the people.

"Our success is not just measured in tons of tuna exported; it's measured in the lives we touch and the communities we uplift in Solomon Islands. The positive impact of SolTuna's growth goes beyond economic numbers. It's about people, their dreams, and the collective progress of the Solomon Islands," shared Mr. Gribble.

"The effects of PACER Plus are profound. It ensures sustainable growth for our industry. With rising demands, we're adopting eco-friendly practices, safeguarding our marine resources for generations to come," added Mr. Gribble. "The future is promising. PACER Plus has granted us a competitive edge. We envision expanding our operations, generating employment, and continuing to offer sustainable, high-quality tuna worldwide."

Through tariff-free exports, SolTuna not only propels the economy forward but also safeguards the rich marine ecosystem that sustains countless livelihoods in the Solomon Islands. In every can of tuna exported, there is a story of resilience, collaboration, and a brighter future for a nation and its people.