Tuesday, July 2, 2013


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.

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