The President of the PNG Business Council, Nuni Kulu, has said that corporations, companies, and industry players have spent over K1 billion annually on national content. Local participation in national content is one of the main policy agendas of Papua New Guinea’s government, and businesses have been supportive in wanting to see local industries grow.

“From a combined industry standpoint, over K1 billion is spent annually on various national content,” Ms Kulu said. “From the NBPOL Lus Fruit Mama program, 20,000 farmers, Ok Tedi’s K3 billion investment in the past three years on local participation, and to PNG LNG’s 90 per cent national staffing. While these figures and many others are impressive, much can be done to develop skills, create more jobs and bring more MSMEs to various projects, ventures and investments.”

She said that national content could be a significant and powerful force to lift many Papua New Guineans out of poverty. However, she added that to achieve this, there needs to be an emphasis placed on meritocracy, high standards, and training partnerships.

To deal with some of the conflicts between government and business, Ms Kulu said the Business Council had established a national content centre. She noted that there had been a lack of idea-sharing between many of the parties involved.

“This centre aspires to be a meeting place where government and business are able to forge [an] appropriate national content framework to rightly and appropriately empower Papa New Guineans,” she said.

“At this juncture, let me thank industry partners and the Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, Rural Industries Council, SME council, as well as the PNG Chamber of Commerce and Industry who are actively working with us to build this important centre.”