The National, Friday 7th June 2013
By GYNNIE KERO
THE small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) summit hopes to grow the SME sector and create two million jobs, Trade Commerce and Industry Minister Richard Maru says.
He said this yesterday after announcing the holding of a three-day conference on SMEs in Madang from July 1-3.
The government will consult the business sector and all stakeholders, including members of Parliament, before it finalises a number of critical reform legislations and to further invests in the growing SME sector.
Maru said all members of parliament had been invited to the summit to debate SME issues.
He said the summit aimed to bring to the government’s attention the need to invest and provide legal and policy support to the sector.
“PNG SME sector is not only creating wealth for our citizens but also growing employment … it would push the growth of SMEs from 49,000 today to 500,000 by 2025, and further create two million jobs in the formal sector.
“We have an estimated two million unemployed with 12,000 Grade 12 students going jobless each year, with no hope for the future.
“We will intensify out efforts in policing and fighting crime, which is only the symptom of our root problem … crime will stay until we address high unemployment in PNG,” he said.
Madang Governor Jim Kas, who accepted to be the patron of the summit, has committed K100,000 to help host the event.