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Small and Medium Enterprises Corporation has presented the concept designs of the proposed Highlands Regional Business Incubation Centre to the Jiwaka Provincial Government and Administration recently.

When presenting the concept designs, the Managing Director of SME Corporation, Mr. Petrus Ralda, emphasized on the importance of Government to Government Partnership between SME Corporation and Provincial Governments and their Administrations in stimulating MSME developments across the provinces and districts in the country.

Mr. Ralda also appealed to the Provincial Member for Jiwaka province, Simon Kaiwi, for his provincial government and administration to maintain the ongoing collaboration with SME Corporation in delivering the proposed Highlands Regional Business Incubation Centre under the Government-to-Government Partnership Agreement signed in September 2023 SME Corporation and Jiwaka Provincial Government committed to equally sharing the costs and risks of the project.

“This is the project that has a huge potential of creating a lot of economic opportunities including employment opportunities for our young people in the province and the Highlands region as a whole on a sustainable basis,” Mr. Ralda said.

 “Through this project, we can get people to go back and work on their lands and initiate economic activities to support and sustain their socio-economic livelihoods.” He added.

Mr. Ralda also challenged the council presidents, ward members and other members of the Jiwaka Provincial Executive Council or PEC and the three open members of the province to collectively support this project.

The Provincial Member for Jiwaka, Simon Kaiwi speaking during the occasion gave his assurance to the Board and Management of SME Corporation that under his leadership, the provincial government and administration will support the project.

“I can see the benefits, the true benefits that will come to the people at the grassroots level.” Kaiwi said.

The occasion was also attended by Acting Provincial Administrator Mr. Rick Kogen, council presidents, members of the provincial executive council and other senior staff of the Jiwaka Provincial Government and Administration as well as the Chairman of the Board of SME Corporation Mr. John Pora, Deputy Chairman Mr. Milan Dirua and other senior members of the management of SME Corporation.

The Highlands Regional Business Incubation Center (BIC) is the third BIC project that SME Corporation is developing through a Government-to-Government Partnership with the Jiwaka Provincial Government (JPG).

SME Corporation and Jiwaka Provincial Administration (JPA) entered into a G2G Partnership Agreement in September 2023 for joint collaboration on the development and operation of the Highlands Regional BIC Project for the Highlands region in Jiwaka province, given its centrality in location The Highlands Regional BIC Project is developed under a 50-50 cost and risk sharing arrangement. JPA has provided a State land for the project.

The project involves construction of a main BIC building to incubate and nurture MSMEs from the region and a Agro-processing project to cater for the supply and value chain opportunities in the horticulture sector for MSMEs that are incubated and graduating from the main incubation hub.

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