Time to cut imports


THE National’s editorial on rice imports last Wednesday has prompted me to write.
It is stated that on rice alone, the country spends about K600 million a year.
It is good that PNG can produce rice domestically. Local manufacturers have already shown that they have the potential to produce most of what is imported.
Thousands and millions of kina are spent on imports annually and domestic production can easily save much of that money. Apart from rice, think of the other products that we import, like bulb onions, bottled water, paper products and wooden chairs.
All of these we can be easily produced in the country.
Think about the thousands of jobs that can be created.
Why are we importing when we should be supporting our local industries and encouraging domestic production?
Government efforts are clearly needed to revive, support and encourage businesses in the country. Good roads, a more vibrant trade systems and more accommodative monetary and fiscal policies are vital for the development of our domestic industries.
If the government is serious about the high level of unemployment and the high crime rate and if it is intent on creating and saving jobs, then it should support local manufacturers.
Now is the time to learn from other countries and start producing locally.
Promoting local businesses and encouraging domestic production will reduce crime, reduce unemployment and encourage more people to participate in income-generating activities.

Richard Napam
Port Moresby

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