An undiplomatic speech, by Commerce Minister, Richard Maru, announcing the protection of Papua New Guinean businesses has received overwhelming applause by more than 400 participants at an SME summit in Madang.
|Richard Maru - Commerce and Trade Minister|
Minister Maru didn’t mince his words when he told foreign advisers that they were wasting their time if they were going to push for unfettered access to PNG’s economy.
He said the SME sector will be staunchly defended by the government through protection policies and the creation of jobs for Papua New Guineans.
One of the first things the revival of a reserved list specifying the kinds of businesses that foreigners will be barred from operating.that will happen before the end of the year is
Maru is no stranger to hard hitting undiplomatic statements at public forums.
Yesterday, he took that to a new level. He told foreign advisers, some of whom were present, that they were be wasting their time if they were thinking of pushing for free access into the lower levels of the PNG economy.
“We are going to bring back the reserve list legislation,” he said. “This summit will decide what will be for Papua New Guineans, what will be 51-49 and what will be only for foreigners.
“The NEC has already decided to bring back the reserved list. So any of you advisors who thinking there will be no reserve list, you’re wasting your time. This government has already decided.”
Unlike in the past there is a general acknowledgment, that the current economic boom is temporary and unless steps are taken to use that new found wealth, the country’s future will be in jeopardy.
This summit will chart a new future. In mind will be an economy based on renewable resources. An economy that is sustainable and able to support Papua New Guiena’s young population.