Cooperation between sectors needed

The National,Wednesday June 15th, 2016

COOPERATION between different sectors of society is needed to avoid unnecessary costs to businesses and loss of investor confidence in the economy, Institute of National Affairs executive director Paul Barker says.
Barker (pictured) commented last week on the situation in Port Moresby caused by the confrontation between police and University of Papua New Guinea students.
“The leaders in government, business and civil society, including churches must cooperate to address the underlying issues, adhering to the Constitution and laws of Papua New Guinea and ensuring positive prospective for the country, including business, investment and the economy into the future,” he said.
“The business sector has been under stress for some time, with the downturn of the economy, low commodity prices, shortfall of foreign exchange, and uncertainty with respect to various prospective policy and legislative changes.
“The seemingly unnecessary conflict and injuries at the UPNG is tragic and highlights the need for mature and peaceful ways for civil society, including students, to dialogue with government, without resorting to the use of excessive force or stirring up volatile behaviour in the community, which could trigger payback mentality or opportunism.”
He said Lae was also tense but better dialogue with civil society and university authorities appeared to have kept matters in better check.
“The situation in Mt Hagen went out of hand on Wednesday, with damage to business and vehicles and threats to public welfare and discontinuation of flights,” he said.