CEFI and Department Sign MOU
by PNG Business News - July 08, 2021
Photo Credit: Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion Facebook Page
The Department of Community Development and Religion's Informal Economy Section recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Center of Excellence and Financial Inclusion (CEFI) that will provide a new collaboration pathway for training and education of Informal businesses and vendors in order to help them graduate and grow into the SME Sector.
The cooperation agreement signed by interim Department Secretary Jerry Ubase and CEFI Executive Director Saliya Ranasinghe would pave the way for joint efforts in providing individuals with Financial Literacy and Financial Inclusion Training through the District Community Development Centre (DCDC).
Ubase praised CEFI's work with the department on behalf of Minister Wake Goi, and spoke about how the relationship will benefit the lives of participants in the Informal Economic Corridors.
“My department recognises and embraces partnership and collaboration in delivering protection and empowerment services to people.
“This MoU signing is yet another milestone to assist the government of the day to achieve its vision of growing the economy through informal business and SME.
“As a responsible government department, we will continue to create dialogue and partnership with stakeholders such as CEFI to create an enabling environment for people in the informal economy to access necessary services,” Ubase said.
Warren Marape, Acting Deputy Secretary, Community Development Division, described the MOU signing as a big step forward for the Department in addressing the country's financial literacy needs.
“The participants in the informal economy are in a dire need of this service so they can venture into SME.
“And we will make sure to deliver this significant program at the DCDC beginning with Imbonggu after the official opening on September 17, 2021.
Saliya Ranasinghe, CEFI's Executive Director, commended the department for partnering with them (CEFI).
“The diverse setup of financial institutions is meant for people to partner with and everyone has to patronise that.
“To do that, Financial Literacy is the first step to moving towards your financial goals and direction.
“We are looking forward to working closely with the department to push the goal of transiting the participants at the informal sector into the formal sector,” Saliya said.
Representatives from the North Fly District Development Authority, the Imbonggu District Development Authority, the media, department officials, and CEFI were present during the signing of the MoU at Sambra Haus in Port Moresby.
Salmang, Grace Auka. Post-Courier (7 July 2021). “MOU by CEFI And Department To Boost Informal Sector”.
PNG Business News - September 28, 2021
CEFI signs MOU supporting the DEFINE Initiative
CEFI, the Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with PNGX Markets, the PNG Digital ICT Cluster and Emerging Venture Management (Unkapt), together the proponents of the DEFINE Initiative, to provide for a framework of cooperation and communication. To achieve the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in the country, one of the initiatives to implement work on the Fintech space is the Developing Financial Markets for Enterprises in the Pacific Islands (DEFINE) Initiative that is being spearheaded by partners which includes Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI), with PNGX Markets, the PNG Digital ICT Cluster and Emerging Venture Management (Unkapt). The objective of the DEFINE Initiative is to contribute to the development of financial markets, products, and services for – aligned enterprises in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Island countries, with the ultimate goals of diversifying their sources of capital and enhancing access to finance. This includes the establishment of specialist SME funding facilities for debt, debt-like, and equity-like investments in SDG-aligned private enterprises which demonstrate governance, performance, return and impact potential with a special focus on Women-led enterprises, clean energy initiatives, agribusinesses, and businesses in the ICT sector. Mr. Saliya Ranasinghe, Executive Director for CEFI expressed his views on the journey taken to be working with and supporting the DEFINE Initiative. He further stated that the objectives of the DEFINE Initiative are very well aligned with those of CEFI and together is hopeful that the collaboration of all parties can deliver greater financial inclusion, financial literacy and business capability to the SME sector. PNGX Chairman Mr. David Lawrence stated that a key objective of the DEFINE Initiative is to strengthen the capacity of domestic financial institutions to encourage and expand access to banking and financial services for all, in particular women and the vulnerable, and their integration into value chains and markets. Mr. Lawrence elaborated that as a locally driven initiative, CEFI will be a key partner for meeting our objectives within Papua New Guinea and using the experience gained to export financial services and financial access across the Pacific.
PNG Business News - October 04, 2021
CEFI & NRI sign research collaboration
(from left to right) PNG NRI, Deputy Director for Research Associate Professor Eugene Ezebilo, NRI Acting Director Dr Osborne Sanida, CEFI Executive Director Saliya Ranasinghe and CEFI Manager Communications and Stakeholder Mobilisation Eva Kuson following the signing of the MoU. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed today (24 September 2021) between the Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI) Executive Director Saliya Ranasinghe, and the PNG National Research Institute (NRI) Acting Director Dr. Osborne Sanida with the aim to consolidate and strengthen cooperation between the institutions. The NRI is a publicly-funded policy think-tank in PNG mandated by legislation to carry out independent research and analysis on development issues affecting PNG. The National Research Institute Act 1993, states that the functions of NRI include the following: (a) “The promotion of research into Papua New Guinea Society and the economy, and (b) the undertaking of research into social, political and economic problems of Papua New Guinea in order to enable practical solutions to such problems to be formulated.” (Section5, NRI Act, 1993). The NRI’s mission is to provide quality research which contributes to evidence-based public policies and decision-making processes that improve service delivery, leading to better quality of life for all Papua New Guineans. CEFI was established under the Association Incorporation Act and officially launched on 24th April 2013 serves as the industry apex organisation for coordinating, advocating and monitoring all financial inclusion activities in PNG. CEFI’s vision, mission and values focus on financial inclusion and literacy, poverty elimination and the promotion of vibrant financial institutional operation in PNG. The agreement reflects the mutual value both institution hold in terms of extension and strengthening of research exchange for the general benefit of Papua New Guinea. The partnership signals new research grounds into the country’s economic and social development, with special focus on the role of education in development, and the impact of economic and social change on education. Other research activities under the signed partnership will include exchange of research staff, joint research partnerships and co-hosting of seminars and workshops to disseminate research findings through networks of both organizations. CEFI Executive Director Mr Saliya Ranasinghe stated the partnership is in compliance with CEFI’s mandate on financial inclusion and literacy, poverty elimination and promotion of vibrant financial institutional operations in PNG. “The main areas of this agreement between CEFI and NRI will be on researching the impact of Financial Inclusion Activities, Digital Financial Services, Financial Literacy and Financial Education, Micro Insurance, SME and Agriculture Lending.” Mr Ranasinghe addressed at the signing event. “Synergies like the one between the CEFI and the PNGNRI contribute to the more effective research ecosystem that enriches both the education and economic sectors.” Mr Ranasinghe said. NRI Acting Director Dr. Osborne Sanida equally elated about the partnership states, “NRI as a policy think-tank in PNG looks forward to working closely with CEFI to provide practical solutions to financial inclusion constraints, and contribute evidence-based solutions to improve financial inclusivity for all Papua New Guineans.” “Close cooperation is needed between our institutions and the academic community in order to develop the necessary methodologies and to create the appropriate tools to enable CEFI to carry out their work effectively.” Dr. Sanida remarked. This MOU is effective today and will be renewed every five years between the institutions. Article courtesy of CEFI
PNG Business News - June 17, 2021
BPNG, CEFI, GGGI, and New Zealand team up for the development of an Inclusive Green Finance Policy for PNG’s banking sector
Papua New Guinea yesterday launched a new project to develop a National Inclusive Green Finance Policy for the banking sector to boost financial inclusion and guide public and private sector investment towards Low Emission and Climate Resilient Development. Bank of Papua New Guinea Assistant Governor Ellison Pidik representing Mr. Loi M Bakani, Governor of BPNG, H.E Dr. Nathan Ross New Zealand Acting High Commissioner to PNG, Mr. Saliya Ranasinghe, Executive Director, Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion and GGGI´s Deputy Director General Ambassador Jenny Kim, jointly initiated the project. Inclusive Green Finance is a new and evolving policy area that countries are beginning to devise and implement policies, regulations and national strategies to mitigate or build resilience to sweeping environmental, health, social and economic effects of climate change. The project will deliver two main outputs: first, a green taxonomy based on PNG’s goals and priorities; and second, and a diagnostic report on the state of green finance in PNG. Both are expected to steer financial flows (loans, equity, and guarantees) towards technologies and services that contribute to the government’s financial inclusion and green growth goals. Bank of Papua New Guinea Assistant Governor Ellison Pidik representing Mr. Loi M Bakani, Governor of BPNG pointed out, “We understand that dual threats of financial exclusion and climate change are recognized as key barriers to financial stability. As a member country of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), and implementing the work on Green Finance, we have identified Inclusive Green Finance (IGF) as a key priority area in the financial inclusion space. Similarly, Acting High Commissioner of New Zealand H.E. Dr. Nathan Ross stated that “Climate change is the most significant security and development issue facing the Pacific region, and we can only meet its challenges through collective action. This includes the private sector, and the Inclusive Green Finance Policy will be an important step towards helping businesses to contribute to PNG’s low-emissions, climate resilient development.” Ambassador Jenny Kim states GGGI´s role in the project will be on scaling up access to green finance, “we hope that this project will serve as a strong foundation for future cooperation between New Zealand MFAT, BPNG, CEFI, and GGGI for more ambitious and impactful cooperation on climate change.” At the event, an MOU was signed. The MOU between GGGI and CEFI is under the initiation of the regional program, Low Emissions Climate Resilient Development Program (LECRDP), a regional collaborative effort between GGGI, NZ/MFAT and the governments of Kiribati, Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, and Fiji to support regional resilience and emissions reductions, by working with these Pacific Islands Countries to transition to inclusive, low emissions and climate resilient development.
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PNG Business News - August 12, 2022
Going Green: FAO-led EU-STREIT PNG Programme provides green-powered facility to local agricultural authorities to effectively service rural farmers
EU Funded UN Joint STREIT Programme in Papua New Guinea establishes a renewable energy-powered facility to support local government authorities in East Sepik Province, in delivering effective services to rural farmers and entrepreneurs. With generous support of the European Union, the FAO-led EU STREIT Programme officially opened a new 3 cluster office building on 10 August 2022, to host the Programme along with the East Sepik provincial divisions of Agriculture and Livestock, Cocoa Board and the National Agriculture Quarantine & Inspection Authority. The new-look office building is powered by 189 solar panels, which significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduces the collective dependence on fossil fuel. The solar panels supply the building with 90 KW of energy, relieving the resident agencies and authorities from relying on fossil-generated electricity for their needs, including lighting, ICT, water pumping, and temperature control. This zero-carbon-emission facility has the capacity to accommodate around 90 experts, technicians and extension service officers. Equipped with 120 batteries, the building can support staff’s operation for 36 hours in case of experiencing high cloud cover. The building, currently co-resided by the Programme and provincial agricultural bodies, will be transferred over to the East Sepik Provincial Administration at the end of the Programme and will continue to provide a sustainable base for sustainable support to agriculture-related services in the Province. Officiating the opening ceremony, His Excellency Ambassador Jernej Videtič, Head of the European Union Delegation to PNG, in his address, said: “I am happy to be here and to see that things are moving in the right direction to bring sustainable benefits to the people of East Sepik” Ambassador Videtič further highlighted that “with resources from the citizens of Europe to fund the EU-STREIT Programme in providing training, tools and support, the quantity and quality of cocoa, vanilla and fisheries products will increase. The objective is also to protect these quality products in international markets under the EU-STREIT introduced initiative of Geographical Indication.” The East Sepik Acting Deputy Provincial Administrator, Mr James Baloiloi, in his speech expressed his appreciation to the EU for funding the EU-STREIT Programme and the interventions that the Programme is doing in East Sepik and Sandaun provinces. “The STREIT Programme has gone ahead to introduce a culture of agribusiness that now enables the people of this Province and the people of Sandaun Province to have cash income that can sustain their livelihoods.” Mr Baloiloi added, “this infrastructure and building supports us and facilitates the service delivery to our people in this Province as well as Sandaun Province.” Thanking the EU for its generous funding support, Dr Xuebing Sun, the EU-STREIT Programme Coordinator, said: “the Programme has generated substantial impacts at beneficiary, local institutions and enabling business environment levels. This would not be possible with good partnership, increased ownerships and leaderships of the governments and implementing partners.” “This co-residing and close co-operation among UN agencies and their national partners in this integrated space reflect the partnership approach taken by the Programme to sustainably develop agri-enterprise activities in the region,” added Dr Xuebing Sun, adding “the new climate-friendly facility, which is fully powered by solar energy, also provides a space to welcome, advise and serve the farmers, including interested women and youth, who play very important roles along agri-food value chains”. “This kind of ‘green investment’ enables a shift to a more green economy for local institutions and infrastructure to meet cocoa, vanilla and fishery value chains stakeholders” advised Anthony Bennett, the FAO Lead Technical Officer of the EU-STREIT PNG Programme. United Nations’ implementing partners supporting the FAO-led EU-STREIT PNG present in the office include the International Labour Organization (ILO), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The EU-STREIT PNG is being implemented as a UN Joint Programme (FAO as leading agency, and ILO, ITU, UNCDF and UNDP as implementing partners), is the largest grant-funded Programme of the European Union in the Country and the Pacific region. It focuses on increasing sustainable and inclusive economic development of rural areas through increasing the economic returns and opportunities from cocoa, vanilla and fishery value chains and strengthening and improving the efficiency of value chain enablers, including the business environment and supporting sustainable, climate-proof transport and energy infrastructure development.
Paul Oeka - August 12, 2022
CPAPNG annual meet to discuss global changes
Certified Practicing Accountants of Papua New Guinea will be hosting their 23rd annual conference with about 400 participants nationwide expected to attend the two day conference organized by CPA PNG in Lae Morobe Province from August 18 to19, 2022 CPAPNG was established in 1974 and has come a long way with a lot of achievements along the way. Over the years its membership grew from mere numbers to just below 2000 which includes 40% locals and 60% non-citizens. . The CPA PNG conference is one of CPAs three significant annual events on their calendar with this year's conference theme; Is PNG prepared for the recession?" The conference will see certain key leaders in executive management roles from both the public and private sector delivering presentations in line with the conference theme. CPA PNG's Executive Director Mr. Yuwak Tau said the theme of the conference was selected because there was a decline in the global economy and the general so when that eventuates small economies tend to be affected. He added that they have basically selected the theme that was current and appropriate so that members would find relevance during the course of the conference. “The meeting is to create intellectual and interactive discussions with seasoned business leaders to present and share their ideas and experiences to find probable outcomes within their business environment and industries in times of economic uncertainty”. Some of the topics to be presented by consultants are current significant issues such as crypto currency, transport pricing, bit coin block chain technology and stress management. This were some topics that people have heard about but have not really ventured into. Mr. Tau added that it would be quite hard to measure the benefits immediately but the participants will be able to look at insights shared during the conference that would be appropriate in the areas of employment, accounting, finance, auditing and others. The conference will create an environment where participants can also share information so That they can take points to apply in their work place and industries. In relation the Kumul petroleum Holdings had also presented a cheque of K50, 000 to support the coming event at their head office. The cheque was presented by KPHL's executive General Manager Corporate Affairs, Luke Liria and was received by CPA PNG Chairman Richard Kuna. Mr. Liria said KPHL has appreciated the effort put in by CPA PNG to ensure that its members in State owned enterprises and the private sector were given appropriate level of training and as part of KPHL's corporate social responsibility and commitment they hope that their support will continue to help the organization facilitate and make sure the accounting practices is of international standards. CPA PNG's Chairman, Richard Kuna acknowledged KPHL for their support and stated that he was looking forward to seeing KPHL being a big part of the upcoming conference.
Paul Oeka - August 12, 2022
BSP: Small to Medium Enterprises Loans reaches 60% rate.
Bank South Pacific's Financial Group Ltd Chief executive officer Mr. Robin Fleming has recently announced that the bank has granted more than K200 million as loans to small to medium enterprises under its credit scheme facility that the then Marape government had released to the bank to support Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) and local businesses during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Fleming said about 1523 customer loans have been approved, that is about 60% of loan approval rates since 2019. Prior to this announcement BSP and the Department of Commerce and Industry (DCI) had agreed to increase the maximum loan under the small-to-medium enterprise (SME) credit enhancement facility to K5 million. The previous limit was K3 million when the Government first released K100 million as security to the bank under its K200 million SME allocation for BSP to rollout the loan facility last year. Fleming stated that even though they have exhausted and rolled out the bulk of the governments relief funds for SME's they will still be running the SME loan program under its credit facility scheme “At this stage, BSP has not received the funding planned for this year but that is not preventing BSP from giving loans under the facility”. “There remains significant capacity for BSP to continue to assess, approve and funds loans under the facility”. “The agreement with the Government did provide for momentum in the SME facility to be maintained while allowing for the Government budget and funding process to be adhered to”. As part of the government SME relief funding, Commercial Banks were allocated K200 million with BSP Financial Group receiving K100 million, NDB K80 million and another K20 million was allocated to the department of Commerce and Industry BSP could not comment on how the National Development Bank (NDB) is dealing with the K80 million it received, but the intent, when discussions were initiated, was that BSP would be lending to more mature SMEs and NDB to startup ventures. In addition to enabling SMEs to access lower cost of funds through the facility with BSP, the bank has also made it a responsibility to ensure that Government funding is preserved by not approving loans that have a higher risk of default.