PM welcomes finance corporation to town

National, Normal

The National- Friday, February 4, 2011

 PRIME Minister Sir Michael Somare has welcomed an initiative by the International Finance Corporation to strengthen its ties with Papua New Guinea.

Sir Michael expressed these sentiments when he met with IFC vice-president and chief executive officer Lars Thunell.

The head of IFC is in the country to open an office and see how small to medium enterprises were operating.

Sir Michael said business-wise, the country had done well with many investors coming in to explore investment opportunities since his government came into office in 2002.

He said the government had ensured the climate was conducive for businesses to operate.

“More and more businesses are coming to invest in Papua New Guinea and, now, especially with the LNG project coming on stream soon, our country is becoming more attractive for investment,” he said.

Sir Michael was impressed with what the IFC would be doing for the small-medium enterprises and pledged the government’s support.

He encouraged IFC to complement the current development activities and growth by ensuring accessibility to finance for small entrepreneurs.

Previously, the IFC operated out of Sydney but now, with an office in PNG, the corporation would have easier access to small to medium enterprises to deliver financial services.

IFC’s investments included support to private companies like Digicel (PNG), KK Kingston, Kula Fund II Ltd and PNG Microfinance.

Thunell explained to Sir Michael: “We are more interested with the small-medium enterprises and that is where most of our investments will be.”