By ELIZABETH VUVU
BUSINESS houses in East New Britain have been lauded for contributing to the economic progress of the province.
Minister for Communication and Information and Member for Kokopo Patrick Tammur last Friday hosted a luncheon for the ENB Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ENBCCI) and the provincial administration.
He said business houses suffered the most after the 1994 volcanic eruptions and acknowledged those that remained during the most difficult times to rebuild their businesses from literally nothing.
“You were here when the province and the people needed you and I thank you for your confidence,” Mr Tammur said.
The Kokopo MP believes the region can be turned into a major metropolitan business centre for the province, region and the country as a whole.
There have been numerous national and international gatherings held in the town in the past 12 months which have generated almost K20 million for the province.
The LNG BSA (benefit sharing agreement) forum was the single biggest event to have taken place.
ENBCCI representative James Wong said they are already involved with public private partnership with the ENB provincial administration.
He said many of their members gave up their time to participate in various provincial boards and committees, which include the building board, physical planning board, land transport board and the law and order committee.
ENBCCI is helping the provincial administration by keeping the issue of road maintenance funding for the national roads in the province firmly in the public domain, he said.
“We want to keep reminding the National Government that our roads throughout ENB are deteriorating,” Mr Wong said.
Kokopo has come a long way and this can be attributed to the good government system and business community, Mr Wong said.
Recently, the chamber participated in a series of meetings with the provincial administration to ensure that the office of the Civil Aviation has plans in place, both short and long term, to deal with closure of the Tokua airport due to ash fall.
“We need to work together to get the small things right, the things we can control right now,” Mr Wong said.