Govt plans for SME takeover

PORT MORESBY Chamber of Commerce and Industry has cautioned against moves to bar foreign ownership of small and medium enterprises.
Govt plans for SME takeover Govt plans for SME takeover Govt plans for SME takeover Govt plans for SME takeover Govt plans for SME takeover

Radio New Zealand reported last week that Trade, Commerce and Industry minister Richard Maru planned to table a Parliamentary Bill in May that would require businesses under $US3.8 million ($A4.9 million) to be restricted to ownership by Papua New Guineans.

Should the bill be passed the legislation would require foreigners in ‘reserved businesses', including fast food and trade stores, to leave the country and let the government buy their business in order to give it to locals.

"We can't just go in and arbitrarily tell businesses to sell because we are a democratic country here and we do have a process," Chamber president Ronald Seddon said.

"The Chamber of Commerce will certainly be continuing to talk to the Minister to ensure that they do things the right way. We don't want to see businesses just being taken over like a Zimbabwe-type operation.

"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."

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