By MARK HUAHUIE
BUSINESSESS in Lae are operating in difficult circumstances, says Lae Chamber of Commerce and Inc president Alan McLay.
“Lae businesses are currently going through tough times, with many cutting down on their operations just to survive,” McLay said.
“An indicator of the situation in Lae is that the construction of new buildings is down on average at the moment.”
McLay told The National that the Lae business community was also looking forward to planned projects to boost commerce, despite the current adverse economic climate.
“Lae businesses are looking forward to the plans of the developers to proceed with the Wafi-Golpu project to its next stage,” he said.
“This will certainly provide a boost to the economy in Lae and the (Morobe) province.”
He said there were businesses about to start operation in the province “which are most welcome.
“I refer to the new bio-mass project in the Markham Valley and two new fish canneries.”
McLay urged the government to upgrade roads from Lae port to the Highlands Highway.
“The importance of the Government sealing the most significant section of road in Lae, the part of the Highlands Highway from the Lae Port to Air Corps Road roundabout, cannot be stressed too much,” McLay said.
“This road caters for all the cargo that comes and goes over to Lae port.
The proper construction of this road will be the boost that Lae needs to kick-start the economy.”
According to the Lae Chamber of Commerce website, Lae, is the second largest city in the country with a population of around 350,000 people (preliminary figures from the year 2011 census).
Being the Industrial centre of PNG, Lae boasts of a wide range of businesses and a vibrant commercial sector involved in importing, re-packaging, transporting and exporting goods to and from nearby provinces in particular the Highland.
In Lae, a strong manufacturing sector has developed producing many and varied products including – soap, detergents, industrial chemicals and cleaners, paint, steel and steel fabrications, gas, soft drinks, beer, biscuits, canned fish, chicken processed products, timber products and plywood, rice and flour packaging.
By MARK HUAHUIE