The National, Wednesday March 2nd, 2016
THE Government’s priority is to review and update all relevant macro and micro economic policies, outgoing director of trade Max Rai says.
He said this was to measure the country’s progress and to make clear pathways for future development and prosperity of the country.
Rai told delegates at a high level meeting on Pacer Plus in Australia that the Government had prioritised key service delivery mechanisms, policy interventions, and institutional reforms to build a robust economy and a competent export regime.
He said one such priority was the recently launched small to medium business enterprises policy and master plan which is expected to empower all Papua New Guineans to actively participate in small businesses and industries to support, sustain and grow the economy.
“Papua New Guinea has over 8 million people, 80 per cent of which live in the rural areas of the country.,” Rai said.
“Every year over 30,000 young people graduate from high school and only about 5000 continue on to tertiary institutions.
“Through this policy, the Government aims to support and facilitate growth in the small to medium business enterprises sector and create more employment opportunities, or about 2 million new jobs to reduce the high unemployment rate which currently stands at 84 per cent of our population to 49 per cent.
Rai said another priority for the Government is the country’s first national trade policy, which is currently being finalised.
“This initiative is a national priority as since independence Papua New Guinea has not had a trade policy and has been conducting its international trade on an ad hoc basis and decisions affecting international trade were made in isolation,” Rai said.
Rai said the Ministry of Trade, Commerce and Industry is also undertaking institutional reforms for trade, investment, securities, and industrial centres.
He said following the small to medium business enterprises and trade policy, the Papua New Guinea Government hopes to launch the country’s first industrial policy.
The new SME policy is expected to support Papua New Guinea’s businessmen and women by enabling the growth of local small to medium enterprises in the country from 50,000 to 500,000 by 2030.