24 Sep 2012

Bougainville government wants joint ventures with foreign businesses

10:28 am on 24 September 2012

The government in the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville is preparing laws to ensure only Bougainvilleans can own retail businesses.

The president John Momis says they want to avoid problems that have occurred in other parts of PNG when the indigenous population has been shut out of a business sector they had historically seen as theirs exclusively.

This has sparked recent riots, mostly directed at shops operated by Chinese.

Mr Momis says they want to establish a different sort of relationship with foreign traders.

"We want foreigners to be involved in joint venture businesses in wholesale and other businesses, so I think that is where it is at. If we don't then we will have the Chinese and the Caucasians taking over the trade stores and all these little businesses as they have done in the rest of the country."

John Momis says the ABG government itself has entered into wholesale arrangements with Chinese business people in south Bougainville.