The National, Thursday August 1st, 2013
PAPUA New Guinean businesses operating in a sloppy manner, expecting government protection or attempting to evade paying their dues have been urged to lift their game.
Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru said although the Government was now serious in its move to stimulate and promote the small and medium enterprise sector – which it sees as the driving force to steer economic growth and address growing youth unemployment – businesses themselves must strive to be competitive.
Maru was speaking as guest of honour at the inaugural Institute of Banking and Business Management (IBBM) enterprise centre’s Small and Medium Enterprise Leadership Awards on Tuesday night in Port Moresby.
He said that the Government would also run its own SME awards, which would be the biggest such event in the country.
He said Papua New Guinea businesses can and must compete among the best in the world and the way to achieve that is through benchmark assessments such as those provided by the IBBM’s enterprise centre.
Maru said the Government would be interested in adopting the assessment criteria drawn up by the institute.
Maru commended IBBM for initiating the awards which had the backing of Esso Highlands, the operators of the PNG LNG Project.
Religion, Youth and Community Service Minister Loujaya Toni suggested that the benchmarks could be used to measure the performance of her department to improve governance.
The top award for small enterprise category was won by Sefti PNG Ltd and Helifix Operations took the best medium enterprise award.
IBBM also took the opportunity to launch its PNG Employment and Supplier Data base, a mechanism that will connect PNG businesses and job seekers with business and employment opportunities respectively.
Finance Minister James Marape and Treasury Vice Minister Delilah Gore also attended the awards presentation.