Business people in the new Jiwaka Province now have a voice with the launch of their Indigenous Business Council on Thursday.
Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister, Richard Maru, challenged the new council to be the true voice of the SMEs in the province.
Jiwaka is the first province in the Highlands to launch its indigenous business council.
Being the first province in the region to have indigenous business council, a concept that was born from the Indigenous Business Summit in Kokopo in 2012, the province welcomed Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru in colour and in style.
Jiwaka currently has 420 SMEs and Minister Maru challenged them to double, if not triple this number in the next ten years.
The Minister also said SMEs in the province will flourish when they have a vibrant voice to air their concerns and handle all issues to do with business.
Minister Maru therefore called on the Jiwaka Indigenous Business Council to play its role in being the voice for the small businesses.
After the launching of the Jiwaka Indigenous Business Council, he said this council also had a role to ensure the government implemented the new SME policy which will be put in place soon.
The council’s 10 year corporate plan was also presented to the Minister during the launch.
Included in the plan are the council’s strategies on how it will develop the SME sector in the province while identifying the industry in the province that will drive the economic growth.