The National, Wednesday 08th Febuary 2012
By SINCLAIRE SOLOMON
THE National Development Bank, boosted by K130 million in the national budget, has embarked on an investment programme aimed at returning as many small and medium enterprises (SME) as possible to young Papua New Guinea entrepreneurs.
In a newspaper advertisement on Monday, the bank encouraged people between the ages of 25 and 45 years to apply for this funding.
And it has the vehicle to launch this ambitious project – announcing that it was reintroducing its once popular and very successful Stret Pasin Stoa Scheme.
The bank is targeting retail shops, food bars, service stations and bakeries which would qualify for funding support under this scheme.
“We are also open to other businesses like motels, guest houses, workshops and businesses citizens can start or buy out.
“Why work for someone else when you can work and own your own business?”
The paid advertisement was signed by bank chairman William Lamur and managing director Richard Maru.
“The current status of retail shops, especially trade stores and food bars which are nearly all run by foreign nations is an eyesore and a crime against our people and a trend which we must not continue to accept,” they said.
“These foreign nationals are now going into districts, remote districts, to run and operate shops while our people remain spectators because of the lack of empowerment and encouragement by successive governments, stakeholders and clear laws and policies against such takeover of what was once restricted businesses.
“Many are legitimising their stay by marrying unsuspecting PNG citizen women so they can trade under the name of their spouses.”
As discussed at the PNG Indigenous Business Summit in Kokopo last year, they said the bank could not allow this to go on and must seek to regain “our birthright” by taking back and running all trade stores and food bars and move to owning and running more restaurants.
“As a result of our unified desire to take back these foreign-owned and managed businesses, especially in the SME sector, where we have competent Papua New Guineans to run these businesses, our haus moni, the NDB has made a firm decision to reintroduce the Stret Pasin Stoa Scheme this year.
“Clearly, the aim of the bank is to replace all non-citizen trade stores and fast food outlets.
“This is consistent with Vision 2050 aspirations to empower our people to create wealth for themselves.”