IPA attracting investors: Chair

Leon Buskens

THE Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) remained resilient to maintain and attract investments during the year, says chairman Leon Buskens.
Buskens told The National that proposed foreign investment was well over K1.3 billion, with proposed jobs more than 3,000 – more than 80 per cent of which are held by locals.
Buskens said the Coronavirus (Covid-19) brought some uncertainty and challenges.
“However the IPA was resilient in retaining existing investment and attracting some new investment,” Buskens said.
“This was done through the promotion and facilitation of business and investment interests via innovative means including email enquiries, virtual presentations/conferences and physical visits. This was to complement the government’s efforts on business continuity and SME development in the new normal era.”
He said some relevant laws needed to be brought up to speed.
Buskens said other factors included political stability, doing business parameters and policy reforms, commodity and global price fluctuations, law and order issues, foreign exchange reserves (forex shortage) and compliance issues with other regulatory agencies.
Some of the IPA’s key achievements this year include:

  • IPA board meetings facilitated digitally. The board has excelled to digitising board packs and no longer print board papers for board meetings;
  • IPA financials were audited up to 2020 by the Auditor General making IPA one of the few Government institutions with a clean and up to date financial records;
  • IPA’s collaborative partnerships included the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation; Trade Comm II, Business Council of PNG, PNG-EU Business Council, Pacific Island Trade and Invest (Australia, NZ, Japan, China),

Diplomatic Missions in PNG and PNG missions abroad (EU Delegation, US, China, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Japan, Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, France, UK);

  • IPA Strategic Plan 2021-2023 published and distributed to stakeholders;
  • IPA progressed the Reserved Activities List through a consultative approach review with endorsement from the National Executive Council recently;
  • IPA undertook legislative reform work including the Investment Promotion Act, Business Groups Act, Companies Act and Associations Incorporation Act;
  • IPA managed to develop the PNG Intellectual Property Strategy which was endorsed by Government and we have started phase 1 of its implementation.