Removing barriers to the establishment of new businesses and creating a greater entrepreneurial mindset will be important factors in meeting PNG’s 2030 target of 500,000 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), according to an expert panel.
The Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct recently hosted a discussion on the role of leadership and good governance in growing indigenous businesses in PNG.
The panel comprised Australian businessman and indigenous advocate Warren Mundine, PNG Indigenous Business Council Chairman Sir Nagora Bogan, and Gideon Karali, a representative from successful landowner business, Trans Wonderland Limited.
The audience included a select group of senior officials of leading government departments, agencies and the private sector.
SMEs are particularly important in developing countries such as PNG because of the role they play in poverty reduction.
“I believe that everything rises and falls with leadership,” Sir Bogan said. “As I look across the spectrum of PNG, I think we need to put a lot more effort into ethical leadership.
Mr Mundine said Australia and PNG could learn from each other on several topics, including how to create an entrepreneurial mindset among communities who have traditionally had limited involvement with business.
“Twenty-five years ago when I was a young bloke, you used to sit there and say, ‘business and commercial activity is a white man’s game’,” he said. “Well, (in Australia) we had to change that mindset.”
The Precinct is a partnership between the Governments of PNG and Australia to produce a new generation of capable and effective leaders.