18 May 2009

PNG Chamber of Commerce speaks out after anti-Chinese violence

3:20 pm on 18 May 2009

Papua New Guinea's Chamber of Commerce says it supports and encourages all business activities, including those of Chinese, as long as they comply with the law.

The comment follows last week's looting and anti-Chinese violence in first the capital, Port Moresby and Lae and the weekend disturbances in Madang Province and the Highlands region.

The unrest came amid claims that many feel squeezed out of small scale businesses by the Chinese who at times don't have the papers needed to run them.

But the Chamber's president, John Lei, says people shouldn't take the law into their own hands.

"We say that all business activity, including the Chinese, is most welcome and should be encouraged but having said that it should be done in compliance with the country's laws, and if there are instances, then the right thing to happen is for the investment promotion authority to be given the necessary resources to enforce the laws."

John Lei says it's unclear how extensive the damage to Chinese businesses is.