The National, Monday February 22nd, 2016
THE country’s first small to medium enterprise policy and master plan were launched by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill last Thursday in Port Moresby.
Trade, Commerce and Industry minister Richard Maru said the policy and plan aimed to strengthen the economy were put together in the past six years.
“The SME policy and master plan is a culmination of six years of hard work, investment in time, money, contribution of ideas, consultations across the country,” Maru said.
“I would like to thank everyone involved in this process.”
He said an important area to address was the unemployment sector.
“About 80 per cent of our Grade 12s can’t go to universities or colleges,” he said.
“While our economy is growing, our population is also growing.
“We will have a greater population to support in the future.
“We are going to have more kids coming out of school.”
O’Neill said the policy and master plan would have a positive impact on so many lives and families. But he acknowledged that challenges would be faced along the way.
“It is not going to be easy,” O’Neill said.
“If we are going to double or triple or tenfold the numbers of our participants in the SMEs from 50,000 to 500,000 in 2030, it is not going to be easy.
“Running a business is not easy. Sacrifices have to be made.
“This policy and master plan will guide us, it will guide future governments, to make sure that they put enough resources into SME.”