The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has welcomed the passing of legislative amendments to enable Papua New Guinea (PNG) to modernize its business registry and boost business activity.

The Companies (Amendment) Act and Business Groups Incorporation (Amendment) Act will modernize PNG’s business laws, ensuring they meet global anti-money laundering standards and enabling PNG’s business registry to collect essential company information.

The amendments will ensure the country’s upgraded online business registry collects all relevant and essential company data. The new registry, due to launch later in 2022, will make the process of formally registering a business faster and more accessible and will facilitate greater access to finance, contracts, and international trade for PNG businesses.

“Without the collection of this business information through online registries, businesses may struggle to operate or contract with each other,” said ADB Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office Regional Director Lotte Schou-Zibell. “ADB welcomes the passing of these important amendments which will make it easier and more efficient to do business.”

“The modernization of PNG’s online business registry is critical for IPA’s ambitious program to promote business growth and investment,” Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) Managing Director Clarence Hoot said. “We are pleased that PNG is moving closer towards the full launch of its updated registry.”

The two amended acts, which passed on 20 January 2022, were developed with support from the Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI)—an ADB technical assistance program in partnership with the governments of Australia and New Zealand. PSDI is partnering with IPA to launch the modernized online registry in 2022.

“The passage of amendments to the Companies Act and Business Groups Incorporation Act demonstrates the Government of PNG’s support for expanding business and investment opportunities for its people,” Australian High Commissioner to PNG Jon Philp said. “Australia supports PNG as it seeks to improve its business-enabling environment.”

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.