Hoot: Govt Agencies Must Work Together
Government agencies must work together to make sure investors coming into the country follow the country’s laws and regulations.
This, according to the Investment Promotion Authority (IPA), agency in charge of promoting the country and bringing in investors.
For Managing director Clarence Hoot, the problem lies with foreign investors going into business activities regulated by other institutions. “For instance, we bring them (investors) in and when they go into logging, then Forestry has to come in,” he said.
Hoot was answering the statement of Northern Governor and chairman for the special parliamentary committee for public sector reform Garry Juffa’ who said that the IPA needs to screen investors and hold them accountable for the laws of the country. Juffa said, “It just can’t be allowing anyone to come in, yes we want investment, but we want the right type of investment. If you go around Papua New Guinea now, there are so many non-compliant actors. They come here claiming to be doing business in this area, trade in this business and off they go doing something different and in many instances breaking many of our laws and getting away with it.”
Juffa added that IPA could play a bigger role, saying that the special parliamentary committee for public sector reforms was meant to inspect state-owned entities, government agencies to keep them up to par to the standards. “That’s what we need right now, we are not a tiny developing country in the middle of the Pacific,” he said. “We are a growing economy with huge potential, if we are not careful, then what will happen is that we will let the wrong type of people and organisations into this country who will disrespect our laws and benefit from exploiting our resources.”
Prime Minister James Marape said that there were laws in place that direct local and foreign businesses, but that policing needs to be addressed. He noted that the government has encouraged investors to come in and do business, but at a certain level.