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Forty-five years of Papua New Guinea independence speaks volumes of a country’s journey navigating the path of self determination, a path that is defined by key sectors of governance, societal interactions, and business of course.
Independence is a key milestone celebrating the past, the present, and the future for an occasion that sets aside economic issues to celebrate achievements in growth alongside the country that defines it.
A definition that can be reflected upon according to Bank South Pacific(BSP) CEO Robin Fleming, irrespective of the challenges facing it today towards the achievements gained thus far such as world class gas and mining projects.
“Irrespective of the economic conditions we are currently experiencing much has been achieved in the 45 years since Papua New Guinea became independent.
“Economically, PNG has progressed significantly with Business in PNG having expanded and grown over the past 45 years as well.
“Whilst Port Moresby has changed dramatically in regard to the number, size and scope of operations of businesses that are conducted in other cities such as Mt Hagen, Lae, Kokopo and Madang have also developed significantly to the extent that availability of land for towns and cities to grow is more a constraint to expansion than demand for business,” Fleming said.
He added BSP has been able to expand its operations to 7 other countries in the Pacific and South East Asia and is a proud flag bearer for Papua New Guinea.
Kina Bank CEO, Greg Pawson shared a personal note on the vital partnership to any business, which is the Papua New Guinean customer.
“We believe it’s our duty of care to support our customers and our people through difficult times and this year we know it’s been hard for many.
“This Independence Day is a time for us to come together and show our strength.
We’ve stood free for 45 years and we continue to be strong in these times.
A country bristled with more local entrepreneurs self-determined in the next five years says National Development Bank managing director Moses Liu.
Since the Bank’s establishment in 1967, even before the country’s Independence, NDB served more than 20 thousand Papua New Guineans many of whom have grown successfully in their small and medium enterprises providing over K1billion(US$287 million) in loans.
He also highlighted that when the Government’s proposed K80 million to assist local SMEs comes through, the bank is ready to assist more.
A growth potential that is immense and shared by major retailing group City Pharmacy Limited which has employed over 20,000 Papua New Guineans since its establishment in 1987.
“We live by our vision, that this country can be even greater by living healthier and better lives.
“45 years on for us means we’ve become more innovative with the way we engage with our customers, our employees, our communities and our Partners” said CPL managing director Mahesh Patel.
CPL’s commitment to PNG’s growth has since seen it increase its retail portfolio from the humble pharmacy chain to Stop and Shop, Hardware Haus, Bon Café, Real Rewards Plus, Fresh Express, Prouds and Jack’s of PNG, boasting over 62 outlets.
A workforce that can save that major superfund, Nambawan Super Limited (NSL), has been helping for nearly 60 years.
It highlighted the two significant reforms, the most recent in the 2000s, has enabled the building of the savings culture in the country.
“We are where we are today, because many years ago PNG put in place compulsory savings for some of its workers.
“We are working hard to protect and grow these savings of everyday nation builders like teachers, nurses and police officers who have witness that with hard work and good governance their savings are not just safe, but also grow,” NSL CEO Paul Sawyer said.
President of the PNG Chamber of Commerce and Industry, John Leahy, laid down the key challenge for the business sector comes from the point of providing the educated workforce needed and the health services that keep them on the job.
“The key point that is often overlooked is that there is far more education being done and far more health services being delivered than in 1975 when the population was only much smaller.
“Some ‘bipos’ will say that the quality of the graduates from the universities is not good.
That is not my experience.
They are not all good, but the best of them are very, very good.
He added, however, that Papua New Guineans distinguished in professional spheres at senior levels are coming to the fore.
“Watch out they are coming through the system! Overall, I think the progress has been amazing, but with some rhetoric we have seen under the current government, I am very concerned that much of the good work over the decades will be lost," he said.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
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