Reduce Tax andInterest Rates – Allan Bird

Madang based businessman, Allan Berd, has called for a reduction of taxes and interest rates to helpthe growth of small and medium enterprises inthe country.

His call comes as participants ofthe SME’summit in Madang prepare to present a draft policy tothe Prime Minister.

Berd also highlightedthe difficulties faced by small businesses includingthe relative inability to find shop space in towns and cities.

Allan Berd used to have a thriving restaurant business in Madang butthe old building had to be knocked down bythe landlord.

Speaking atthe SME Summit he said it has been difficult finding a shop space in town.

“We didn’trsquo;t have a building to operate from. My wife is from Madang and I grew up in Madang but we could not have access to a land in Madang town even though we trlied anything and everything. Now we are operating twenty five kilometers out of Madang town on my in-laws traditional land.

Allan Berd is an important figure in PNG Business starting fifteen years ago with capital of just ten thousand kina, but like many Papua New Guinea businessmen setting up a small business without government backed incubating space has been extremely difficult.

The conference will end today with some if not allthe solutions tothe issues raised. For now,there is still a long way to go and a lot of questions to be answered. Amongthem are legal questions that are being tackled bythe Constitutional Law Reform Commission.

Atthe end ofthe summitthe Commission will have some direction on how to include SME’s inthe development of districts.

There will also be gradual movers towards reforming aspects ofthe provincial and local level government’system.

Bet one ofthe most questions that will have to be answered today isthe definition of SME’s inthPNG context.

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