Sluggish economy affecting business, says Trukai boss

National

By LARRY ANDREW
MANY businesses in Lae and around the country are facing hardships in their daily operations, and the country’s biggest rice supplier is no exception.
Trukai Industries chief executive officer Greg Worthington-Eyre said that the economy was suppressed because of a number of reasons, low levels of foreign exchange being one of them.
Worthington-Eyre said the economic down turn was affecting the rural sector because of the reduced cash flow in the society.
“The spending power of consumers has reduced and that drives down consumption, impacting lots of markets.”
He said the rice category has been down about 3 per cent but he hoped that growth would return to the rural sector towards 2019.
Wothington-Eyre said that one of the major issues affecting business in Lae was roadblocks on the Highlands Highway.
“We had been able to get stocked rice up to Mt Hagen that generally takes one day up and one day back but now it takes five days return trip.
“We estimate the Highlands Highway had been closed for up to three months this year in total at various time because of the landslides and other issues.
“The roadblocks put pressure on the business and also on the transport industry.”

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