Prime Minister Hon. James Marape today expressed his commendation to International Trade and Investment Minister Hon. Richard Maru for his strong leadership in Papua New Guinea’s hosting of the World Indigenous Business Forum (WIBF) from October 24 to 26, 2023.
The prestigious international event, which drew participation from 150 international delegates representing 14 countries, as well as 350 participants from all corners of Papua New Guinea, reached its conclusion on the evening of Thursday, October 26.
Prime Minister Marape, speaking on behalf of the people of Papua New Guinea, extended his profound gratitude to WIBF for selecting Port Moresby as the host city and conveyed his appreciation to all international delegates who graced the event with their presence.
Furthermore, Prime Minister Marape lauded the diligent efforts of National Capital District Governor, Hon. Powes Parkop, and his dedicated team from ‘Amazing Port Moresby’ for their commendable work in promoting both Port Moresby and Papua New Guinea on the global stage throughout the duration of the event.
He also extended his thanks to the local businesses that seized the opportunity to showcase their products, establish global connections, foster partnerships, and explore market prospects among the diverse array of countries represented at the forum.
Prime Minister Marape emphasised the significance of Minister Maru’s strong leadership in successfully hosting the WIBF. He noted that this event stands as the most significant international gathering hosted by Papua New Guinea since APEC 2018.
The Prime Minister expressed his delight at the participation of micro, small to medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the WIBF, highlighting their ability to establish international contacts and gain insights from the global participants. He commended the wide range of products produced by Papua New Guineans and underscored the importance of exporting goods to boost the country’s economy.
He remarked, “Whatever we can export, whether big or small, brings in much-needed foreign exchange into our country and builds a stronger economy. I am very happy that Minister Maru is focused on ensuring that indigenous Papua New Guinea businesses are given greater support to progress into manufacturing and downstream processing. This very much complements the government’s focus on downstream processing.”
Prime Minister Marape emphasised the government’s commitment to supporting MSMEs, particularly women, with increased assistance to Women’s Micro Bank (Mama Bank). He pledged to review and enhance efforts to ensure that the benefits reach as many MSMEs as possible.
Encouraging investors to explore opportunities in Papua New Guinea, Prime Minister Marape said, “Papua New Guinea is in the most-exciting part of Earth as far as commerce, trade, and business are concerned. Our accessibility to the Asian market is second to none.”