Expats contribute to growth too


IN response to [email protected]’s letter ( Feb 26), I believe the argument is valid but maybe too subjective as I myself, as a Papua New Guinean, believe that some expatriates are really good employers.
This statement can be validated by the fact that most expatriates come from developed countries that are home to companies with excellent policies that deal with the qualification and employment of its workers based on their skills level and training.
When they come to PNG with these policies, they are able to implement them in their own companies so that only the best Papua New Guineans secure jobs in order to ensure quality.
When the companies have highly trained Papua New Guineans in their workforce, productivity increases and more money is sent to the government as taxes to help it fund projects and develop PNG.
Some of these expatriates even help educate young Papua New Guineans, working as lecturers in our universities, passing on the knowledge they learnt from developed countries to the next generation of Papua New Guineans.
Take for example the recently retired Professor Hugh Davies. He may have been an expatriate but he lived in this country from the 1960s and made a huge impact on the mining industry because he taught many of PNG’s top geologists.
This just goes to show that not all expatriates are the penny-pinching rascals many choose to believe.
But can a Papua New Guinean be a good employer? The answer is yes.
A Papua New Guinean can be a good employer as long as they employ people who have the right qualifications and training.
However, one problem that some Papua New Guinean employers need to address is nepotism, or in PNG terms, wantok system.
Nepotism in PNG can be linked to the way our culture is oriented around family and clans.
In situations like bride-price payments and deaths, family members are expected to pitch in and help, which encourages a sense of unity.
However, as unemployment remains a problem in PNG, some Papua New Guinean employers are expected by their extended family to provide job opportunities for their family members.
This can be very bad for companies because unless the employer’s family members are actually qualified for the job and have had proper training, the company is at risk of not performing to its full capacity.
Think of this like an engine. If one of the parts of an engine does not fit, how can anyone expect the engine to work properly or even function at all?
In short, not all expatriates are biased employers and some of them have even contributed their share of development towards our country.
If Papua New Guineans are to be good employers, they need to show that they can employ the best people for the job, so that our country can prosper as a whole.

Concerned (but proud) citizen and aspiring journalist