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Pictured: Shadow Minister for International Trade and Investments, Kerenga Kua. (Supplied Imgae)

Shadow Minister for International Trade and Investments, Kerenga Kua, in a statement has said all leaders should be shocked and frustrated to learn that according to a news report, over 90 companies in the country have begun the process of liquidation in the past year alone.

Mr. Kua added that the number could be higher as this was just according to one accounting firm, but nonetheless the stark revelation is an overall indictment of the poor leadership of Prime Minister James Marape.

“As Shadow Minister for International Trade and Investments, it is deeply worrying to hear close to a hundred businesses are entering the stages of liquidation.

“Companies don’t file for liquidation overnight. What we are seeing is a total breakdown in the conduciveness of the country’s business environment over the past five years culminating in businesses facing the prospects of liquidation and employees facing bankruptcy.

“Since 2019 when James Marape was elected Prime Minister, the country’s private sector has seen a steady decline in business productivity and profitability due to mismanagement of our country’s coffers.

“The symptoms of the country’s economic distress have been present in the last five years, from extensive yet expensive vacancies in commercial and residential properties, moving on to loan defaults and mortgagee sales which we see in newspapers often, and finally to the liquidations we are seeing now.” Kua stated.

He further stated that this issue has also been in the making for some time.

“Mr Marape has had numerous opportunities to avert these issues, unfortunately he simply does not understand business. When the warning signs of property prices rising and an increase in vacancies, Mr Marape should have intervened with necessary measures to avert the current crisis.

“His whole idea of leadership is dishing out cash for projects and awarding contracts here and there, but this does not improve anything.

“Even now as Treasurer, Mr Marape has made no significant contribution to the private sector and has just been using his status as Treasurer to host photo ops of budget presentations and dictate warranting.

“Don’t take my word for it, instead listen to leading manufacturers like Lae Biscuit and retail powerhouse Brian Bell who have said the economy has declined in the past three years.” Mr Kua said.

He further stated that the Opposition is not making this up, as the economy is indeed on life support, with businesses everywhere either doing it tough, or facing prospects of closing shop.

“After five budgets and an additional five supplementary budgets, it appears that James Marape continues to miss the plot and we are now in a downward spiral. Another year of James Marape and this country is indeed doomed, both financially and socially.

“With relatively healthy revenue at various material times during Marape’s tenure, the only reason why we are facing these issues now is simply because of misappropriation and incompetence.” Kua elaborated.

The Shadow Minister for International Trade and Investments expressed that Papua New Guinea is now a leading poor socialist country by default.

“Over the years, the private sector has always remained stable in the midst of crises facing the nation. However, we have now gotten to a point where the country’s affairs are being run so poorly that even the private sector is feeling the pinch,” Mr. Kua said.

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