Regulate foreign investors: Polye

National, Normal

TRANSPORT, Works and Civil Aviation Minister Don Polye says PNG needs to regulate foreign investments to ensure maximum benefits for the people and the country.
He said laws must be passed to control foreign investments, especially on major projects.
Former Deputy Prime Minister and current deputy leader of National Alliance (NA) Highlands branch Mr Polye said this on Saturday at a dinner co-hosted by staff of the three departments under his ministry.
All NA MPs from the Highlands region were present at the dinner at Holiday Inn, Port Moresby.
Mr Polye said: “Unless PNG has a foreign investment plan in place, a lot would go wrong in terms of negotiations with regards to projects in the country.
“Any investor, either in the area of mining, oil, gas or any other projects for that matter, must abide by a degree of percentage to invest in PNG.
“The  law must allow equal percentage of investment ownership between resource owners and foreign investors.”
He said it was critical such laws be made by Parliament to guide the interest of the country and its people.
“It is my greatest desire to see every Papua New Guinean live a life above the
poverty line,” he said.
“But, when I look back at the operations of Bougainville Copper mine, Misima mine, Porgera, Ok Tedi, Lihir and many other impact projects over the past 36 years, I am sad to say that, as a Government, we could have done more for our people,” Mr Polye said.
He urged all NA MPs from the Highlands to make decisions in the best interest of the people and  decisions that were beneficial in the long-term.
He said the PNG LNG project was an example of one that had taken the people and Government off-guard, falling prey to investor’s plans.
“While many concerned citizens have pointed fingers at the Government of the day, alleging ill negotiations, the issue remains and no one should be blamed.
“The fact remains that successive Governments since Independence had failed to enact a law to guard this country from foreign investors,” he said.
Mr Polye called on all politicians to take “a bold stand and enact a law that protects the people and country’s interests” from foreign investors.
“I will be the driving force behind these changes which will be significant in local and national content in GDP growth,” he said.