SME summit to focus on jobs

Business, Normal

The National, Thursday 6th June 2013

 A THREE-day small-and-medium enterprises (SME) summit will take place Madang to discuss growing joblessness in Papua New Guinea.

Trade, Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru has announced that the Government, the Madang provincial Government and SME sector in the country will hold the conference from July 1-3.

He said: “Currently, 60% of our students leaving Grade 12 go back to their villages and remain jobless, which is 12,000 out of 18,000. 

“We, as a country, have one of the highest unemployment rates in the world … 50% of our workforce with employable skills cannot find jobs in the formal sector. 

 “The government is determined to grow the job opportunities by investing in critical and crucial infrastructure that would spur economic growth and also to invest in SMEs to generate jobs.

“Our target is to grow the SME sector from 49,000 PNG-owned companies to 500,000 in 15 years and create a minimum of two million jobs.

“The resource sector does not create large numbers … it is the agriculture, fisheries, tourism and manufacturing sector that creates many jobs.

“The law and order issues are just the symptom of our root problem in PNG, which is the jobless 50% … developed nations have unemployment but only between 1% and 3%,” he added.

The summit would also focused on the proposed legislative reforms which the SME sector wants to be passed in parliament.

This would encourage and empower the citizens to grow their businesses with help from economic strategies to be supported by the government through investment.

The summit will cover the following:

  • Enforcing the reserve businesses for PNG citizens 
  • New national content legislation
  • Cutting the cost of doing business.
  • SME financing
  • SME incentive scheme
  • Foreign investment review board
  • Land Act review
  • Business training and new Initiatives.