The National, Thursday October 24th, 2013
STAFF of East New Britain Savings and Loans Society and Kada Poroman Microfinance completed a training course under the microfinance expansion project (MEP) in Kokopo yesterday.
The course was facilitated by the Bank of Papua New Guinea, MicroSave and the Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI).
Team Leader of MEP Ross Croulet from the MicroSave said the training involved marketing products and new product development.
He said it was important to develop and introduce new savings and loan products to the people to give them more options to choose from as it was part of country’s development from all levels.
One of the facilitators Ghandi Katao said the Central Bank’s statistics has shown that 85% of the population in PNG did not have access to financial services.
He said this made the training important as the staff from the two financial institutions could learn how to develop new products to meet the needs of the rural people.
A participant from the ENBSL Lindsay Pidian said the training was an eye opener for the society, adding it would be very interesting to see the amount of change and the impact of change in the existing products.
She said many of the participants thanked MEP for the training course.
MEP, which was launched in April 2012, as a comprehensive development approach designed to strengthen the growth of the microfinance sector.
Croulet said availability of natural resources, untapped opportunities and economic changes that the country is undergoing offers potentail for expansion of the microfinance.
He said, however, that the opportunity came with challenges from low literacy levels, absence of good infrastructure and limited scope for promotion of micro enterprise.
Croulet said MEP was designed to address these challenges.