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Papua New Guinea

Govt challenged to help SMEs go digital

The success and growth of SMEs was the heart of the APEC Business Advisory Council Micro Small Medium Enterprise and Innovation summit.

While introducing the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and Energy, Michael Mell, Chairman of Small and Medium Enterprise Corporation challenged the government to help SMEs in the country to go digital.

“Telecommunication infrastructure, accessibility, and affordability are absolutely key to the success and the sustainability of the SME sector,” Mr Mell said.

“There is no time than now in PNG to make that paradigm shift and truly empower our SME sector.”

He said a key challenge for PNG is to identify those policies that would have the greatest impact in reducing constraints on economic growth.

However, he said in order to do that, the government need to look at ways to involve more SMEs and the community more broadly in the digital economy.

“By improving the information structure, hardware and internet capabilities as well as coverage, boosting education levels and encouraging human resource development,” Mr Mell said.

“This will require significant interactions, more and positive collaborations between government and SMEs.’’

Mr Mell said Small and Medium Enterprise Corporation had been challenged to provide an ecosystem that will increase the top line SME numbers tenfold, to half a million, and quadruple the workforce to two million, all by 2030.

“It is a challenge that we are to accept, and need to see some change in the way that we approach the SME space,”he said.

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