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Investments critical for development

11/09/2018

“Investment is critical for the development of Papua New Guinea – but it needs to go beyond the resources sector,” says Minister for National Planning and Monitoring, Hon. Richard Maru.

An MSME business Bayagondi Investments Ltd displaying their products during the APEC meetings at the International Conference Center in Port Moresby.

“Investment is critical for the development of Papua New Guinea – but it needs to go beyond the resources sector,” says Minister for National Planning and Monitoring, Hon. Richard Maru.

While officiating at the opening of APEC Business Advisory Committee’s (ABAC) Micro, Small to Medium Entrepreneur (MSME) and Innovation Summit, Minister Maru asserted that MSMEs were instrumental to economic growth and have contributed to providing food and shelter for millions of Papua New Guineans.

“The government is focusing on inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

“We will focus on our non-extractive sector, and grow our tourism business, fisheries, forestry and agriculture… we cannot continue to ride on the boom-and-bust commodity price cycle we have experienced over the last 40 years,” he said.

Minister Maru said while the Government was investing in SMEs and other growth sectors, he noted that the biggest challenge was the high level of unemployment amongst the younger generation.

“80 per cent of our Grade 12 graduates are unemployed without opportunities for further studies.

“This is the group of Papua New Guineans with the energy and the drive and we need to empower them to get them into business,” said Maru.

He said the Government has a business plan to build four regional youth business incubation centres where young people would be trained to go directly into doing business.

The Minister said as an of APEC member, PNG needed to work hard and be innovative in achieving its goals as a Government and the MSME sector is moving forward and embracing new opportunities.

“We have to draw on our strengths to not only survive, but to prosper and advance.

“This is what our MSMEs do every day,” said Minister Maru