The government will soon issue visa on arrival for Indonesians arriving into the country.
Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry, Richard Maru, made this announcement during the closing of the Sohe Women in Business Small to Medium Enterprise Training in Popondetta Northern Province recently.
This arrangement between Papua New Guinea and Indonesia is aimed at allowing Papua New Guineans to tap into the Indonesian market.
“There is huge potential for Papua New Guineans to trade with Indonesia to boost the growth of the Small to Medium Enterprise Sector in the country. The demand for our products across the border is high,” he said.
“SME is the answer for the country. It is the main source for creating employment.”
“… (it is a ) drastic decision to grow the economy and all provinces must have their own SME plan to assist the government,” he said.
Current statistics show that 49, 000 companies are owned by Papua New Guinea, creating 2000 jobs, while 2 million Papua New Guineans are still without jobs.
Mr. Maru said, Papua New Guineans have been dependent on the LNG project but it has created only 18,000 jobs. This number has now been reduced to 3000 at the end of the construction phase.
He said, by 2050 seventy per-cent of businesses must be owned by Papua New Guineans, creating over 500, 000 PNG companies.
“I appeal to the government not to allow foreigners to own businesses. Take back the economy and get the bulk of the business,” he said.
Eighty-five million kina has been allocated in the National Development Bank (NDB) to assist Papua New Guineans with capital to start their own businesses.
Thirty million will be for women entrepreneurs throughout the country.
He challenged the Sohe women to access these funds at their provincial branch to start their businesses.
“Stop the hand out scheme and create a savings mentality to see your business grow,” he said.
Over the last twenty years, the government has been providing training but people have not ventured into business opportunities.
“Utilize the knowledge gained from the training and tap into the growing SME sector,” he said.