“Strengthening partnership with private sector important” says UNDP Administrator, Helen Clark
As part of her visit to Papua New Guinea (PNG), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Miss Helen Clark met with private sector leaders to hear about how the UN can support the sector’s development in the country.
Miss Clark was informed that approximately 85% of the labor force in PNG is involved in agriculture, mostly as smallholders in the informal economy. Although positive initiatives are being taken to encourage agricultural production and access to niche markets there are significant barriers that prevent higher levels of production. These include poor access to markets, lack of access to credit, training and institutional support – together with worries about personal security, security of assets and land problems.
The meeting discussed how to capitalize on the country’s natural resources to create more broad-based economic opportunities for local producers, entrepreneurs and micro, small and medium enterprises. Miss Clark stated that “Evidence shows that extractive industries can play a significant role in equitable growth, if they are well managed. PNG as a ‘late starter’ can learn from the positive experiences of Norway, Botswana, Ghana and some other countries and ensure that the proceeds from extractives lead to real improvements in human development. The Government’s commitment to the Extractive Industries and Transparency Initiative is very welcome. Partnerships with the private sector can be a key enabler of inclusive and sustainable development.”
Private sector leaders agreed that the Government of Papua New Guinea is starting to take important steps to support the development of the country’s private sector. However they stated that government needs to provide more direction to prioritize, leverage and build on the private sector’s investments in key areas such as health, youth employment and education.
“The current emphasis on building new infrastructure in the country for the Pacific Games and the APEC Summit offers potential opportunities to invest in training young people to build skills in carpentry, welding, building and other trades. This could be done through apprenticeships and on the job training. The challenge to the private sector and the government is to decide their respective roles and how they can work together to maximize resource benefits for all Papua New Guineans” said Miss Clark.
Tenzin Keyzom Ngodup, UNCDF PNG firstname.lastname@example.org +675 73306790