Thursday, September 13, 2018

PNG - Australia partnership supports local road maintenance contractors

Australian High Commission

Small and medium sized businesses are crucial to the delivery of maintenance on Papua New Guinea’s national road network. 

Australia is continuing to work with the Department of Transport, Department of Works, National Roads Authority, and the Department of Commerce and Industry to strengthen the local contracting industry.

During a series of Australian sponsored workshops in Mt Hagen and Madang last week, Kia Gorabi from the Department of Commerce and Industry Construction Industry Unit reflected on the challenges and opportunities for SMEs in the road sector.

Participants of the workshops recently held in Mt Hagen and Madang.

“The government relies on local contractors to deliver essential work. 

"It’s great to be able to provide support to small businesses on the ground. 

"These workshops have focused on improving understanding of technical, financial, business, and contractual aspects of work in the road sector.

“Road works provide jobs for a range of skill levels in communities along the highways. 

"Good roads are vital for the private sector and act as a catalyst for economic growth.”

Amex Sipatu works for a small contractor that has been operating for seven years.

 “Running a road contracting business is complex and competitive. 

"This workshop has helped me to improve my operations and understand how to grow my business and avoid the most common pitfalls.

“I also enjoyed the opportunity to discuss the challenges with officials from government departments in our sector,” Amex said.

Australian High Commission Minister Counsellor Benedict David was pleased that Australia was able to support these workshops. 

“Our focus on maximising opportunities for local contractors and communities is a big part of our support for infrastructure development in Papua New Guinea.

“Many of these projects are delivered by Papua New Guinea businesses and these workshops are an important way to maximise local participation in the development of growth enabling infrastructure,” David said. 

In partnership with Australia through the Transport Sector Support Program, the Department of Works delivered more than K60 million worth of road maintenance works in 2017. 

These works were delivered by 70 different local contractors.

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