The National, Thursday July 11th, 2013
I FELT emotional and proud to be a Papua New Guinean when I watched on EMTV the opening speech by Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru at the SME summit in Madang.
As a university graduate, I am thrilled to see a first-time parliamentarian and minister push for the betterment of small people without fear or favour.
Some expatriates and locals may call Maru a racist and they are entitled to their opinions.
But looking at the bigger picture, the SME industry can help achieve Vision 2050 in creating a wealthier and healthier nation.
As many Papua New Guineans will be employed in the cash economy, it will improve their living standard. The government will also generate more income through businesses and personal income tax.
I call on the minister to see that there be loans to cater for the growing number of youths who want to venture into business.
For example, set up a loan package designed for youths similar to the National Development Bank’s Women in Business Loan package.
If an avenue is created for people aged 18-30 to be financially supported under the SME bandwagon, PNG will see changes in the next 10-20 years.
It will decrease unemployment rates, reduce law and order issues, improve living standards, etc.
With two-thirds of the population made up of this age group, it is time the government looked at providing avenues for them to participate in the growing economy. The SME sector is the best available one.