Push for more indigenous PNG businesses

9:28 am on 23 February 2015

The President of Papua New Guinea's Indigneous Business Council says more dialogue is needed to encourage indigenous people to take greater part in small to medium economic activity.

Roadside market in rural Papua New Guinea.

Roadside market in rural Papua New Guinea. Photo: RNZI / Johnny Blades

The Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry, Richard Maru, has signalled a parliamentary bill 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 would be asked to leave the country, with the government to buy their businesses and give them to locals to run.

The council's Sir Nagora Bogan says a sensible and responsible approach is needed.

"In principle, we have no problems with engaging and looking at ways to empower and educate and inform and mobilise indigenous people to take part in economic activities in business and small to medium enterprises, as an initial stepping stone, and then gradually, say a few years down the line, they can graduate to bigger things."

Sir Nagora Bogan says he hopes that there can be a transitional process.