The National, Wednesday July 3rd, 2013
By DOROTHY MARK
THIS year’s small and medium enterprise in Madang would be a stepping stone towards creating more SMEs and employment in the country.
Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry Richard Maru said the National Government’s Vision 2050, which focused on a wise, healthy and wealthy country, did not say how that vision could be realised.
However, Maru said the summit would identify and present a way forward on how to make Vision 2050 work, and this is through job creation.
“Sixty-six percent of our Grade 12s are going home with no hope for future … they could only consume alcohol and drugs and involve themselves in lawlessness … and the list goes on,” Maru said.
He said his department could not allow this group to go home without a future especially in a country with many income-generating resources.
“Our marine waters are rich with tuna and our soil is fertile for agriculture and yet many people go unemployed … no responsible government must allow this to go on,” he said.
Maru cited a government estimate saying that two million of PNG’s workforce between ages of 18 and 55 were unemployed and living in villages where many youths ere involved in criminal activities.
He said unemployment was the contributor to those issues and not law and order itself.
“Law and order is the outcome of unemployment that is not a root problem but a symptom of a bigger problem,” Maru told participants.
He said it was time Papua New Guineans should create small businesses or get employed.
However, Maru said he was not talking about selling betel nuts and cigarettes in small street markets.
He said that the people should go into bigger business activities that would also generate jobs.
He said countries involved in SMEs had prospered.