Solomon Islands, Economy and Government
alluvial gold, British sovereign, phosphate rock, Guadalcanal, copra
The chief products of Solomon Islands are copra, timber, rice, cacao, processed fish, sweet potatoes, plantains, pineapples, and trochus shells (used in making buttons and ornamental objects). Large deposits of bauxite and phosphate rock are found here, and alluvial gold is produced on Guadalcanal. In the early 1990s logging accounted for more than half of Solomon Islands' export earnings. However, forests are being logged at unsustainable levels. In 1994 the government proposed that a logging ban take effect beginning in 1997.
The country is governed according to a 1978 constitution. The chief government official is a prime minister, who is chosen by and must have the confidence of the nation's popularly elected 38-member unicameral parliament. The British sovereign is the nominal head of state and is represented by a governor-general.
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