The National, Friday July 5th, 2013
By KEVIN PAMBA
THE Government will bring back the “reserved business list” to help national ownership and growth of small to medium enterprises (SMEs), Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said on Wednesday.
O’Neill made the announcement when closing the inaugural SME summit at the Divine Word University in Madang.
He challenged Papua New Guineans to grow the SME sector to 50,000 businesses in the next five years, up from the reported 46,000 at present.
O’Neill did not give a timeline for the reintroduction of the reserved business list but made the announcement in response to the 21 resolutions of the summit.
The reintroduction of the reserved business list was among 21 resolutions the three-day summit came up with and presented to the prime minister for the Government to act on.
The 21 resolutions were considered by the summit to be issues that had to be addressed for the growth of SMEs.
The “reserved business list” was scrapped by the Wingti government in the early 1990s as part of the economic liberalisation reforms promoted by the World Bank to open up the economy.
O’Neill said the reintroduction of the reserved list would be among cross-sectoral reforms of the Government.
He said the problems the SME sector faced were part of far-reaching challenges faced by the country that had to be addressed by both the Government and the people.