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Papua New Guinea

Empowering SMEs vital

BY YOMBI KEP

Strengthening the informal economic sector in PNG is important as it supports 80 percent of the population as well as drives economic growth.

Addressing the ABAC MSMSE and Innovation Summit on behalf of the Prime Minister, the Minister for National Planning and Monitoring, Richard Maru (pictured) highlighted the importance of empowering MSMEs in the country.

“The strengthening of MSMEs is essential for our economy, due to the sheer size of the small business sector, and the need to broaden our economic base as our middle class expands,” explained Minister Maru. “The best way to create mass employment and create wealth for our citizens, as is proven the world over, is through empowering our SMEs.”

He said that investment is critical for the development of PNG but it needs to go beyond the resources sector.

“We cannot continue to ride on the boom and bust commodity price cycle we have experienced over the last 40 years,” he said. “That is why investment in SMEs, and in growth sectors, are essential for this government.”

He said that 80 percent of the people in the rural villages and community depends on the informal sector.

“Increasing those in our urban Centre’s in the formal economy also supplement their income by producing and trading in the informal cash economy, in our urban towns and cities and our district towns.”

Minister Maru explained that the MSMEs contribute 30 percent of the country’s GDP and provides employment and economy participation.

“Our MSMEs drive our economy forward and provide food and shelter for millions of our people.”

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