The National, Thursday November 7th, 2013
PAPUA New Guinea needs investors in banking, aviation, tourism and power to create competition, Trade Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru said.
Speaking after a trade mission to Taiwan recently, Maru had acknowledged that the high cost of doing business in PNG had become a constraint on the growth of the private sectors.
He said: “How do you expect private and manufacturing sectors to grow if basic input costs are amongst the highest in the world? Freight rates are high, power is another. Everything is very expensive.”
Maru said PNG wanted legitimate foreign investors with technology to help in the export of processed goods.
“Apart from building relationships with other countries, we (PNG) are also targeting to bring in more foreign investors in critical areas such as banking, airlines, agriculture, tourism and aviation to drive prices down and become competitive against countries such as China and Australia,” he said.
Maru said the country was upset with investors taking business activities belonging to local entrepreneurs.
He explained: “We are not against foreign investors. We are against investors who take on small businesses that our small people should be running.
“The big ones (businesses) … we have no capacity, we accept that. We still need foreign investors, no issue with them”.
This year, PNG had several trade missions to Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Solomon Islands and Taiwan.
Investment Promotion Authority managing director Ivan Pomaleu said visits to neighbouring nations were designed to market PNG and secure investment opportunities.
Pomaleu said not many countries knew what PNG could offer to the international market.
He noted that Solomon Islands needed investment from PNG to boost its economy.