Saturday, February 05, 2011

Growing local business in Papua New Guinea


Sydney, Australia


I'm writing in regard to the article "NDB to back more local business" in the Post Courier 04/02/2011".

I appreciate the National Development Bank for taking the initiative to support the inaugural Papua New Guinea indigenous business summit proposed to be held in Kokopo.

I hope the summit will become the forum to discuss government policies and business model that have worked in other countries similar to PNG's settings.

 In the same article NDB managing director Richard Maru claims that 20% of PNG businesses are in the hands of nationals.

I think this is a good percentage to start with to increase the level of indigenous ownership.

In terms of government support, at the least I am yet to see a comprehensive government policy that talks about supporting small business in PNG.

 The Vision 2050 is very ambiguous on small business and the document was written by people who are elitist and far removed from a coffee farmer in the Highlands or a cocoa producer in the New Guinea Islands.

So this piece of document is a load of cow manure written for other elites like the authors themselves!

What we need is a strategy and a road map to guide us on how to execute the strategy to increase indigenous ownership.

 For instance, in 20 years we want to increase indigenous ownership of business to 30%.

 The question is how do we achieve that?

Well, we need a team of people headed by someone from the Department of Trade and Industry to write the strategy paper.

 The team should be comprised of people from the finance and banking industries, small-medium business owners, Finance and Treasury officials, civil society and a senior statesman in the likes of Sir Rabie Namaliu.

 The strategy should clearly point out where government help is needed and the policy required to support the strategy.
 The strategy should also talk about how the finance and banking institutions would help aspiring entrepreneurs to help start their own business and help grow it with some form of government intervention.
The government intervention I'm talking about must be driven by the policy.

The strategy owner will be the Department of Trade and Industry and they must be convicted that it is the right strategy and it will work.

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