Corruption, a major impediment to PNG businesses

Photo: Tatia Currie/DevPolicy

Corruption in the systems of government has continued to be a major impediment to businesses, the Small Medium Enterprises, new investors as well as existing companies operating in Papua New Guinea.

The director of the PNG Institute of National Affairs, Paul Barker said corruption in government has a wider impact on the private sector and the public as it undermines the concept on the playing field that most businesses seek to operate.

He said during the 3rd European Union-PNG Business Trade and Investment Conference on the discussions surrounding the governance, law and order and the impact of corruption in doing business in the country.

“Clearly some of the private sector thrive on corruption, gaining contracts, land forest resources, gambling licences, monopoly on trading rights and others, most of the time not on merit,” Baker said.

“It undermines the concept on the playing field that most businesses seek to operate, but most adeptly affect the business sector in the minor or the most severe way.”

He said businesses and wider societies are impacted by corruption directly or indirectly.

“Directly from the loss of business, and indirectly from the elevating process of doing business.

President of the PNG SME Council, Des Yaninen also spoke on the corruption impediments facing the SME sector in terms of the cost of security business spent, accountability on the SME funds and political instabilities that affect businesses and service providers.

He said the lack of accountability on the K200 million (US$56 million) allocated for SMEs in 2020 and 2021 which to date most do not know where the money went to.

The European Union has partnered with the PNG government and PNG civil societies in its existing various programmes as well as planned programmes to address some of this issue. All Papua New Guineans operating in the private public and all sectors of businesses are also being urged to play a role in one way or the other in combating corruption which is affecting business in the country.