The Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) has noted a significant increase in the number of businesses registering in Papua New Guinea over the last three years. According to Clarence Hoot, the managing director of the IPA, the rise in registrations began when the pandemic reached the country.

Mr Hoot said, “We are slowly seeing registration of businesses, especially from international investors and international businessmen and women, we are coming back from a low registration when COVID-19 hit to numbers rising.

“For example, for associations which are non-profit organisations, in 2019 we had 596, 2020 we have reported 830 associations registered, 2021 a slight drop with 810 reported and for the first three months of this year, we have so far registered 241 associations which will increase.

“For business groups, it was reported that 584 were registered, in 2020, there was a jump to 1055 business groups registered with IPA while it dropped to 877 registering in 2020, and for the first three months, 541 have registered business groups.

“For business names in 2019, 20,381 registered names, in 2020 there was increase to 25,398, in 2021 there was a huge jump to 28,180 business names registered across the country, and for the first three months for 2022 we already have 10,369 business names registered.”

“For IPA, more people are registering their businesses and companies with more foreign interest in the country,” Hoot said.

“For those registering business companies in 2019, there were 3,993 registered business companies, in 2020 there was a jump to 4,310 by 2021 the registered business companies had risen to 4,500 while for the first three months 1,667 have so far registered business companies.”

Mr Hoot added that in 2019, 600 foreign enterprise certificates were granted for businesses wanting to conduct business in Papua New Guinea.

“However, when COVID-19 hit the country in 2020, there was a big drop to only 456 foreign certificates obtained with a slight increase to 477 in 2021, however in the first three months of this year, there have been 160 foreign enterprise certificates obtained, which will increase in the months to come.”

“To us, this means businesses are back and bringing more economy revenue to the country,” Mr Hoot said.