By Harlyne Joku
A total of 4231 foreign enterprise approvals had been issued in the past four years to existing and new foreign enterprises to do business in PNG, the managing director of IPA (Investment Promotion Authority) Ivan Pomaleu said yesterday.
Mr Pomeleu said this was a positive story about the increased trend of investors which revealed that PNG was an appealing investment destination. He said this was due mostly to the booming business prospects such as the 30 year PNG LNG gas project which is supported by the Government and triggering the interest in investors.
Mr Pomaleu made the remarks in his paper presented at the three day CIMC 2009 National Development Forum which began yesterday at the parliament state function room. He commented on creating and enabling an investment climate in relation to the theme of the form “Opening Opportunities for Agriculture and Rural Development.” Mr Pomelau said PNG aspired for an investment regime that was transparent and compatible with international best practice and was conducive for foreign investment.
Treasury Secretary Simon Tosali said at the same forum that the state of the PNG economy was still in good shape despite the risks posed by the global world recession. He said PNG had positioned itself to move forward and the positive trend would continue if the LNG project began to operate by the end of this year. Mr Tosali said the Government needed to work hard at organising landowners to become involved in the project and generate income from it. He said that the LNG would result in large economic activity and growth in the real estate and agriculture sectors. But he added the government revenues had to be spent in priority areas of infrastructure, health, education and agriculture.
Acting Prime Minister Sir Puka Temu who opened the forum said that linkages between the National Department of Agriculture and all key public sector departments and organisations combined with strategic partnership between key government agencies, the private sector, donors and community based organisations underpinned a win-win mentality.
He said the National Agriculture Development Plan estimated about K1 billion was needed over the next 10 years to make the changes necessary to position the agriculture sector to effectively propel future developments.
He said programs were aimed at generating broad based economic growth in the rural areas. “It is my prayer that the reforms in government would increase income earning opportunities,’’ the Acting Prime Minister said.