PNG indigenous business plan questioned

2:00 pm on 20 February 2015

The Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce in Papua New Guinea says a plan to force indigenous control of small and medium enterprise businesses needs more thought.

People outside a market in Papua New Guinea.

People outside a market in Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZ / Johnny Blades

The Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry, Richard Maru, says a parliamentary bill will be tabled in May that would require business ventures of under 3.8 million US dollars to be restricted to Papua New Guineans.

Mr Maru said foreigners involved in reserved businesses, such as fast foods and trade stores, would be asked to leave the country, with the government to buy their businesses and give them to locals to run.

The chamber's president Ronald Seddon says excluding foreigners would be difficult.

"Whilst there may be a few Papua new Guineans who are in the position to take over businesses worth ten million kina or less, it certainly isn't the majority of them. So I think it needs a lot more thought to go through. I think to rush it through now would be sheer folly."