The National- Wednesday, January 19, 2011
By ANCILLA WRAKUALE
PAPUA New Guineans involved in business activities must not be treated as second class citizens.
This was according to local businessman Allan Bird during a workshop hosted by National Development Bank in preparation for PNG’s first ever indigenous businesses summit to be hosted in Kokopo in April.
“This is our country and we should have the first bite of the cake instead of somebody else”, Bird said.
He stressed that local business networks were weak, thus contributing to the dominance by foreigners.
Bird also said that there was needed for more entrepreneurial training for local businessmen and women for them to sustain their businesses in the long run.
Bird who is also involved in the designing of PNG’s Vision 2050 said that PNG needs to define the role of state including other state actors to have a strong indigenous business.
He was disappointed that only 10-30 % of the businesses are nationally- owned while the rest are owned by foreigners.
Bird said that 90% of raw materials are processed on shore and is exported to other countries.
“Where we are a result of political ignorance?” Bird said.
He said 90% gross domestic product was generated by large scale enterprise and PNG should turn that around by giving more opportunities to small-scale businesses owned by indigenous.
“Manufacturing and services sectors are lagging behind others like agriculture and forestry and that’s the sector we need to improve on.
“We cannot continue falling into the future but we have to work towards it,” Bird said.