By LUKE KAMA
MORE than 80 per cent of businesses operating in Papua New Guinea are owned by foreigners, according to a research paper presented by the School of Public Policy and Business Administration at the University of PNG.
Prof Lekshmi Pillai told the 2018 Summer Plan Seminars that less than 10 per cent of businesses operating in PNG were owned by Papua New Guineans.
The event is organised by Department of Higher Education Research Science and Technology in collaboration with UPNG and Handong Global University from Korea.
“When you take a look at the ownership of all the business operating in PNG, more than 90 per cent are owned by foreigners,” Pillai said.
“Less than 10 per cent of the businesses are owned by Papua New Guineans. That is a huge challenge that needs to be addressed.”
Pillai said the Small to Medium Enterprise Policy developed by the Government was a good initiative.
The policy was launched in 2016 with the aim to increase current statistics of 50,000 SMEs to 500,000 by 2030.
Pillai said in terms of implementing the policy, Government and its responsible agencies had lagged behind.
“Creating SMEs and entrepreneurships are very important to grow the economy,” he said.
“It creates wealth for the people and the country. An example of a country building itself and its economy from entrepreneurship is Japan.
“PNG can follow this experience. The problem is for Government to relax some of its regulatory measures for new SMEs, like giving them tax holidays for the first two to three years during their start-up, and be taxed starting on the fourth year when they are well established.”
By LUKE KAMA