by Theckla Gunga – EM TV News, Port Moresby
A Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) policy will be tabled in parliament at the next sitting in an attempt to give local business owners in Papua New Guinea an advantage over foreign investors.
The announcement on the submission of this policy was made in yesterday’s parliament sitting by Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry Richard Maru.
Minister Maru said the policy preserves certain businesses that will exclusively be operated by Papua new Guineans.
“The policy has been in parliament for over four months and it should be tabled in the coming parliament sitting,” Maru said.
The tabling of the SME policy is predicted to bring advantages to thousands of Papua New Guinea’s who have ventured into small businesses.
It will determine the kinds of business activities that are preserved only for Papua New Guinea’s and prevent foreign investors from entering into such business activities.
Usino Bundi MP, Anthon Yagama, when asking supplementary questions towards Minister Maru gave some examples of trade shops being established by foreigners in villages in his electorate.
Mr Yagama said the sight of foreign investors running businesses in his provincial capital Madang is not an encouraging look for locals and the sooner the policy is tabled, it will help local business owners.
“This policy must be tabled quickly because already foreign investors are building stores in indigenous villagers,” Yagama said.
In his response, Minister Maru said the drafted policy includes a comprehensive list of businesses that will exclusively be operated by Papua New Guinea’s.
“We welcome foreign investors but businesses that requires K10 million and under should be preserved for Papua New Guinea’s,” Maru said.
The Policy has gone through consultations and amendmen’s will be made to the current Independent Promotion Authority Act to accommodate the SME Policy.