The National, Tuesday July 2nd, 2013
DOING business in Papua New Guinea is expensive, PNG Manufacturers Council chief executive officer Chey Sovell says.
“For the last 10 years PNG has not seen any real tangible growth,” Sovell told the inaugural Small Medium Enterprise forum in Madang yesterday.
Sovell’s presentation showed comparisons between the prices of rental, cost of living in New Zealand, Australia and Indonesia compared to PNG.
He said even things sold online coming from PNG would not have subscribers as readily compared to an item sold from Australia.
“Buying a property or even renting an office space per square metre is terribly expensive here. How can we make the environment conducive,” he said.
He listed some of the basic yet important infrastructure developments which he said would help promote the growth of SMEs such as proper transport routes, better health facilities, energy development in the rural areas or nearby, proper land mediation processes to free land and controlled land rates, which have been sporadic over the years.
Sovell said the utilities should be either private or State-owned.
He said if the people’s mindsets were changed for the better there would be a major transformation in the public sector reforms for better service delivery and “not the cut-throat business that is strangling our SMEs from flourishing”.