The National, Tuesday July 2nd, 2013
By JAYNE SAFIHAO
PAPUA New Guinea lacks proper database on small to medium enterprises (SMEs), according to a report presented at the inaugural SME Summit in Madang yesterday.
National Research Institute (NRI) director Dr Thomas Webster and senior researcher Ogis Sanida presented the report on the current unemployment and wealth creation based on the 2000 census figures but could not give exact figures on SMEs.
Webster admitted that the only data available on SMEs was with the Investment Promotion Authority.
“PNG still has a long way in ensuring vibrant information and communications technology database is available and working for all in this endeavor,” he said.
“We need to know correct figures so that the Department of National Planning can plan effectively.
“When we have accurate data, all departments, provinces and local level governments can use it to plan, manage and budget accordingly without the huge wastage currently seen by successive governments.”
Sanida said SMEs was one way of creating employment in PNG.
“This is something we need to manage and SMEs are one way of creating job opportunities for them,” Sanida said.
“At the moment 90% of businesses are foreign owned with only 10% left for nationals with profits siphoned off-shore.”
Dr Webster suggested that a five-year tax holiday would be logical to encourage and empower SMEs.