by Edwin Fidelis – EM TV News, Kokopo
East and West New Britain provinces have a huge task ahead as they prepare for the opening of the Trans-New Britain Highway.
In a forum in Kokopo today, members of the East and West New Britain provincial administrations revealed possible challenges they will face.
Amongst the agendas discussed were security concerns and economic growth along the highway corridors.
The forum today brought together a group of thinkers from the East and West New Britain provinces.
Their aim is to discuss a way forward in addressing challenges that they are most likely to face when the New Britain Highway opens up.
First, the economic growth for ordinary people who will live along the highway have been recognised and discussed during the gathering.
While the New Britain Highway is seen as a development pathway, the provincial administrations have been encouraged to look into the future.
What has been discussed in the forum today isn’t something new.
Service delivery has been a government’s topic of discussion over the last ten years.
But the discussion today was centred around economic growth driven by s that are already in place.
While the two provinces may be hundreds of Kilometres apart, there are already signs of resemblance.
The Village Oil Palm Scheme in the inland Baining areas have introduced the Baining people to the much talked about PNG’s growing economy.
At another level, there’s been another shift in thinking.
In order for small businesses to grow, law and order issues have to be maintained. And policing the highway have been featured prominently during the discussion today.
The two provincial administrations say they will make it a shared responsibility to develop both the highway s, and the people who will live along it.