THE Government is close to finalising a K300 million loan with World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help develop small to medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in Papua New Guinea.
Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Gabriel Kapris revealed this at a dinner hosted by the Morobe provincial government in honour of the delegates to the Women in Business expo held in Lae from Friday to yesterday.
He said money from the loan would be available through commercial banks for lending to SME business owners, adding that it was now finalising the risk guarantee scheme with banks.
Mr Kapris said SMEs needed funds to support their development and low interest loans with long-term repayment arrangements were known to be the appropriate way for the small-to-medium size businesses to develop.
He said specific activities such as women in business or agriculture were some of the packages that the Government felt would address this issue.
Apart from K300 million loan being negotiated, Mr Kapris said under his ministry the Small Business Development Corp (SBDC) had placed nearly K2 million as credit guarantee fund with selected banks as security for small businesses that had viable proposals that need funding.
The Government has also allocated K40 million to the SBDC for SME and provided training for Papua New Guineans to run businesses.
A study into the difficulties faced by SMEs has identified appropriate technology as one of the areas that needs to be developed to ensure growth of enterprises in PNG.
Mr Kapris said information technology was also important in securing markets for products of the SMEs, adding his department was devising a list of negative and positive activity to guide small-scale businesses to get them through the first difficulties of doing business.
He highlighted yet again that PNG was a difficult country to do business as there were so many obstacles faced by those who venture into business.
These concerned transport infrastructure, water, power, telecommunication facilities among many other difficulties faced by businesses especially small businesses.