BY YOMBI KEP
The government wants to see more Papua New Guineans operating their own business, from small food stores to trade stores and beyond.
These are the words of the Minister for National Planning and Monitoring, Richard Maru while speaking on behalf of the Prime Minister at the APEC Business Advisory Council Micro Small Medium Enterprise and Innovation summit.
“Since the government was re-elected in 2012, under the leadership of Peter O’Neill, we have increased our focus on small business development,” Mr Maru said.
He said there is no doubt that the country’s economy needs the big businesses, both domestic and foreign, to drive PNGs economy forward but they also know that at the same time real economic and social growth cannot happen without growth from the grassroots level.
“While we are open to foreign direct investment, we need to ensure a more level playing field in the SME sector,” he said.
Mr Maru said the government’s key strategies to grow the sector includes the provision of more accessible credit, the online registration of companies and lodgment of annual returns, legislative reforms, the setting up of the credit guarantee corporation following the highly successful Indian model, the increase in micro banks, financial inclusion strategies to bank the unbanked and so on.
“The growth of the MSME sector will help us generate substantial employment opportunities and create wealth of the citizens,” he said.