THE dominance of foreign owned companies is forcing local Papua New Guineans to become laborers in their own country.
There seems to be little or no trust in Papua New Guineans to be able to own and effectively operate businesses. Michael Ipa, Managing Director of Cane Construction Limited made the statements during a bitter sweet struggle which ended with his company winning a tender bid to construct a double story classroom for the Port Moresby Business Collage.
The tender worth over six hundred thousand kina (K600, 000) was awarded through the Central Supply and Tenders Board (CSTB) and a first for the three--‐ year--‐old company which specializes in designing and constructing steel pre-fabricated buildings.
The young entrepreneur from Southern Highlands province is one of many locally SME owners fighting a system a government system that seems to disadvantage them. “Its frustrating to see the big jobs were being given away to established foreign companies operating as PNG owned companies while the dust is left for citizens to do.
But even the dust is now being given away to the foreigners”, said Michael. He said the precedence of project management practices set by PNG business in the past is also to be blamed for the lack of confidence in new businesses like his. SME owners like him now have to work twice as hard to gain the confidence of clients.
Mr. Ipa said for his company to be awarded a tender at CSTB level was momentous. He had been competing for months against reputable construction companies for tenders.
He said expressed his gratitude to the CSTB Board for having the confidence in Cane Construction through this opportunity. In congratulating Mr Ipa during the signing of the awarding of the contract CSTB Board Secretary Babaga Naime said he was happy to see Papua New Guineans starting to take up the challenge of bidding for tenders at the CSTB level.
He agreed that past precedence didn’t help local SME’s but the government through its new SME policy is starting to open up opportunities for local PNG citizens to operate successfully businesses.
Mr Naime on behalf of the CSTB wished Cane Construction the best in their first successful tender bid and the project would be completed on time and on budget to help change the current misconception.
Source: Post Courier.