by Delly Waigeno – EM TV News, Port Moresby
The two-day inaugural Youth Entrepreneurial Summit ended on a high note last night in Port Moresby.
Managing Director of the National Development Bank, Moses Liu, said the first of its kind summit was to bring the attention of stakeholders including the National Government, on the issues faced by current and intending youth entrepreneurs in the process of engaging in business.
He said NDB believes that more time and resources should be invested in the next generation of PNG Entrepreneurs if the Government’s vision of growing SMEs and creating 2 million jobs within the 30 years, is to be achieved.
Minister responsible for SME’s, Richard Maru, said the Government has recently approved the most comprehensive, inclusive and ambitions SME Policy the country has ever formulated.
The SME Policy also brings back a comprehensive reserve list.
“Under the Policy our goal is to grow the SME Sector from 49,500 companies to 500,000 SME companies by 2030. This is possible given countries like New Zealand and Malaysia have reached this milestone without resources endowments,” Mr Maru said.
“It is my hope that as per the formulation of our new SME Policy 2015 the O’Neill-Dion Government will put our money where our mouth is by investing K300 million upwards annually to grow the SME sector so we can empower our youth to take up business as an employment option and help our Government develop a more fairer, equitable and prosperous country in line with Vision 2050,” Minister Maru added.
Mr Liu announced that NDB Investments will roll out the Youth Enterprise Scheme to the provinces next year. The program will be rolled out to all the districts under a new product, District Youth Entrepreneur Credit Scheme.
Mr Liu urged all Members of Parliament to include this program in next year’s budget for their respective districts.
Mr Liu said NDB and its subsidiaries will continue to explore innovative business models for other sectors such as Women Enterprise Schemes to enable ordinary Papua New Guineans to engage in businesses.