By MARK HAIHUIE
MORE than 20 meetings regarding the foreign exchange market had been organised by the Business Council of PNG since 2014 with the Government and relevant stakeholders, an official says.
Former council president David Toua said during the annual general meeting last week that the increased dialogue with the government was positive in allowing adjustments for the shortage.
“A major issue, arguably, the major issue that remains current is the availability of foreign exchange,” Toua said.
“Since the market became aware of this challenge in 2014, we have organised over 20 meetings with the Treasurer, Central Bank Governor, banks and financial institutions as well as other business associations to explore strategies we could employ to address the challenge of foreign exchange shortages.
“While initial meetings were difficult with leadership, a strong spirit of collaboration is present and this in part has assisted the market to adjust to the new normal and work actively to source investments to drive the economy. A permanent solution is still not at hand and we continue to press for the same”.
Toua said the council had also progressed well in terms of greater engagement with the government on issues affecting business in the country.
“The Government is our most important partner. The burning question when I took office was what would be a constructive dialogue framework to engage with our political leadership,” he said.
“The main challenge was the inability to move on decisions that only could be answered by the Prime Minister and his cabinet.”
Toua said the council’s Prime Minister’s Back to Business Breakfast was “an early win” in terms of having effective dialogue with political leadership.
“This format provides the ability to give real time commercial feedback on the state of the economy from a private sector perspective.”
By MARK HAIHUIE