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Our artists ready to hit stage

2010. 28 July

Norman Haikiu and Peter Maepio working on a carving. (Photo: Eddie Osifelo)

by Eddie Osifelo

( Solomon Islands demonstrators hit the bar high when they put out their artifacts and paintings in the Pacific Pavilion yesterday.

The display was part of the preparation by the demonstrators ahead of the country’s National Day in the Shanghai World Expo in China.

It maybe normal in Solomons. But for the thousands of Chinese, Europeans and other Pacific countries who were in the Pavilion, it was really an eye opener for them.

Most of them started enquiring to buy the carvings, baskets and necklaces that were on displayed despite they were not allowed to sell at the booth except in the Pacific Retail shop.

Even the two shell money makers, Joyce Saemala and Bernadette Mola and artist Fred Oge had caught the eyes of Chinese Guang Zhou English Channel Television.

The three Malaitans are part of our demonstrators who did not reach the highest level of tertiary education like University.

However, it is their God given skills that took them to Shanghai and exposed them to the world.

Solomon Islands Commissioner General, Michael Tokuru said the World Expo in Shanghai provides a great opportunity for Solomon Islands to showcase its culture and people, trade and investment opportunities, tourism potential and business and trade products to the huge Chinese market and the Asia and Pacific region.

He said since the opening of the World Expo in Shanghai on 1 May 2010, the Solomon Islands booth has received a steady growth of Chinese and overseas visitors on a daily to weekly basis.

“In addition, it has received many enquiries about trade and investment opportunities, tourism potential, business and trade products in the country,” he said.

Mr Tokuru said the major challenges for Solomon Islands is to take advantage of the great media publicity that is generated about the country at the World Expo and to convert those visits and enquiries received at the Solomon Islands booth into tangible results for the economic well being of its people.

“Solomon Islands hopes to increase the number of Chinese and Asian visitors to the country; further increase in the volume of trade, investment, and business between the two countries; and expand cultural exchanges between the peoples of the two countries after the World Expo,” he said.

Toelegu panpipers will provide the entertainment today.

They will return on Thursday follow by the rest of the delegation on Sunday.