SHARON E BARNABAS
THE Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) is taking steps to streamline the country’s investment policies to smoothen the flow of foreign direct investments (FDIs) into the country.
IPA managing director Ivan Pomaleu said this during a news briefing last Friday, noting the liquefied natural gas (LNG) project had triggered a high level of interests from foreign investors.
Mr Pomaleu said his agency had been “challenged with an increased facilitation and regulation activities … as a result of increased business activities from major foreign direct investment in the country”.
He disclosed that IPA’s certification database had shown at increase in investment activities last year from 2007.
He said IPA records showed a total of 1,433 foreign investors came to PNG to conduct business in the last six years.
This was indicated by the increase in the different approvals given to new and existing enterprises, Mr Pomaleu said, noting that certification approvals last year was the highest.
Mr Pomaleu said: “PNG’s economy since 2003 has been continuously experiencing positive growth rates which have direct impact on the investment growth and business boom.
“The domestic investment has been strengthened by favourable world commodity prices and investment incentives offered by the Government.”
Mr Pomaleu said this led to increased investments within the booming resource sectors, namely new mining projects, LNG, bio-fuel in agribusiness, downstream value-added products in forestry and fisheries sectors and broad-based manufacturing products for domestic and international markets.
Mr Pomaleu said the increase in investor approvals was a clear indication of the booming investment climate with incentives put in place as a result of the stability within the economy.
“With growth, come opportunities and challenges,” he said.
Papua New Guineans are faced with substantial employment opportunities and spin-off opportunities that included hospitality, security and catering services and support activities from the construction and real estate industries.
Local businesses should now focus on improving and enhancing their capabilities to take on board spin-off opportunities, according to Mr Pomaleu.
With these opportunities, the major challenge now is for Papua New Guineans to have an established capital for possible joint-venture partnerships with some of them.
While the boom was good for the economy, the government must be prepared to reallocate resources to other sectors of the economy to ensure their sustenance, Mr Pomaleu said