Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has highlighted the important role small to medium enterprises (SMES) play in economic development.
He also commended local SMES for staging PNG SME Week at APEC Haus in Port Moresby from June 21-25, when addressing the 3rd SME Business Breakfast on Friday (June 25th 2021) to mark the end of SME Week.
“Thank you (SMES) for what you have been doing this week,” PM Marape said.
“Many nations globally are built on SMEs.”
He pointed to the example of neighboring Indonesia, which had over 50 million SMEs, which were the engine room of the economy.
PM Marape also highlighted New Zealand, which he visited last year, a country about the same size as PNG but an economic powerhouse built on SMEs.
“New Zealand is a country almost the same land size as ours,” he said.
“Their economy is really dependent on SMEs that are based around agriculture, tourism and cottage industries.
“This is a place that we could source inspiration from.
“Based on those small-scale, SME-based industries, they have a US$200 billion economy that keeps them running.”
PM Marape said New Zealand did not have large-scale mining, oil and gas projects, but had an economy based on agriculture, livestock, dairy and marine resources.
“I believe in the propensity of our country to expand to an economy that is beyond US$200 million size, if not in the next 10 years, easily in the next 20 years we could get there,” he said.
“That is simply because of the resource density we have in our country.”
PM Marape said while the country was going through time times, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”.
“Those who will be on the mainstream are those who want to capture opportunities that are available for them,” he said.
“I speak to our local SMEs: There are opportunities available.”
PM Marape said those in the SME space should be encouraged that “our Government is pro-business, pro SME”.
“We want to help Papua New Guineans and those that are resident in Papua New Guinea to get going in business,” he said.
“We embrace businesses of all types because we are cognisant of the fact that success of business allows the economy of a country to be strong.”