Give greater autonomy to SMEs, says businessman


SMALL to medium enterprises (SMEs) and locally owned firms struggle to compete for projects and contracts, a businessman says.
Tasion Group chairman Sam Tasion, pictured, said there was a lot to be desired in terms of local content for the country.
He reiterated that SMEs and local businesses in the country were partners for national development.
He said many international projects and contracts in the country had to be reviewed.
“SMEs and local companies must be given greater autonomy,” Tasion said.
“Inclusion is an issue in our country. We must address it.
“Inclusion is not only about gender or national representation in parliament.
“Inclusion is about giving prominence to national content in this country.
“Therefore, promoting SMEs and national companies is the way forward.
“It’s no longer a secret that we can work alongside international partners on building solutions for our communities in the provinces.
“We must change the status quo of contractual arrangements to benefit small to medium enterprises and local companies who can partner with the state.
“We can only learn to grow if we are given an opportunity.”
Tasion also welcomed Marape’s announcement to grow the SME sector.
Last Friday, Marape urged Commerce and Industry Minister Wera Mori to grow the sector and reach 500,000 SMEs over the next 10 years.
“We grow the SME space, getting all Papua New Guineans who want to participate in that area come back into business. Government will have tailor made policies – put funding to assist the existing Papua New Guinea business men and women.
“Those who are paying taxes out there.
“Those who are employing citizens out there right now.
“They are struggling to maybe go the next mile.
“Maybe they need refinancing for their bank loans from Bank South Pacific, ANZ or Westpac.
“Maybe they need a softer loan to get one more machine to make a contract. Our citizens must participate.”

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