By Michelle Bird – EMTVNews, Port Moresby
The back to business breakfast started off grounded, with Business Council President, David Toua, recapping the downturn in the economy, affirming that it would take honest hard work from both the public & private sector, to shape up the PNG economy once again.
On a more positive note Toua discussed the positive outcome of the Manila APEC summit, & announced new features to the organisation with 2 new roles of
- Vice President National &
- Vice President International
The two new roles allow for stronger engagement with government & international partners on high level policy matters.
The business council’s ‘Economic policy working group’, chaired by BSP Snr executives, is working with transaction data to narrate economic activity across the country.
This helps with investment and policy decision making
Other working groups in the Council are looking at social service frameworks.
The Business Council’s schedule for 2016 starts off with:
- APRIL ABEC meeting
- MAY Annual Australia PNG forum & Expo with partners the Australian Business Council in which both Prime Ministers will be attending.
- AUGUST A partnership with the Department of Treasury to host the first joint PNG Economy & CEO summit, where the government & business leaders get together to discuss the state of the economy.
The Prime Minister was also in attendance to showcase the government & private sector alliance, stating that neither one could work alone to improve the economy.
He then veered off talks of policy as he felt the need to reaffirm that the country’s debt level was manageable.
Nevertheless, the Prime Minister assured the room that the national government will continue to focus on the existing policies to maintain stability, especially with the Fiscal & Monetary policies & the Taxation Regime.
The PNG Prime Minister added that the national government has done its part, amidst decreasing commodity prices, by deciding against an increase in any business & industry taxes, due to the challenges which both sectors are facing.
Futhermore, he added that the government is not looking to businesses, to fund the shortfalls through tax increases, as they believe that businesses need to continue to grow without tax constraints.
As the festive season comes to an end; it’s back to business for PNG.