Call to boost local businesses


EAST Sepik Governor Alan Bird says small to medium enterprises (SME) will be allowed to grow in the province through the protection of businesses by locals.
Bird told The National that he had given directives to stop any foreign business setting itself up in the province if the business could be operated by locals.
“What we need to do is create a space for the small operators and most of these are Papua New Guineans,” he said.
“I made it clear to the foreign business community who are mostly Asians that we are not going to allow the opening of any more new shops.
“Those who have not complied with the regulations and laws we will find them and make sure we get rid of them from East Sepik.
“We have to create that space for small businesses in East Sepik to operate in and grow.
“My priority is to the people of East Sepik.
“If the people want a space to do business, I have to deliver that.
“There are certain areas where the people may have the capacity to operate and in those areas I have objections of for foreign investment.”
Bird said if a foreigner were to come and build a chocolate or tuna factory, large-scale oil palm and such big businesses, they would be given permission.
However if the foreign investor comes to operate a tucker shop, fast-food shop or such business operations which a local can do, “then I will have problem with that”.

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