CHAMBERS of commerce in Papua New Guinea should tap into European Union’s programmes to improve and facilitate trade, PNG Manufacturing Council chief executive officer Chey Scovell, pictured, says.
“Economic diplomacy is a formalised instrument to encourage enterprise and it is about helping EU businesses and enterprise markets, so we have got to ride on that,” he said.
“Getting European Union to put the funding, is about identifying opportunities for partnership between EU businesses.
“We are a third market to the EU, so it is not so much about us trying to justify our market or our scale of market to the EU.”
Scovell said in Port Moresby last week during a panel discussion on whether the EU was a feasible option for PNG companies.
The session was part of the EU-PNG Business and Investment Summit.
“I think the most low hanging fruit is about using the EU as a formalised bilateral partner and working on some of the regulatory reforms under the trade facilitation agreement that will reduce the cost of doing trade in and out of PNG, and also reduce the time for trade,” Scovell said.
“That also extends to the capital side.
“I think too often we think of the other side, and unfortunately not many businesses are aware that the EU, for the first time in the history, has a programme where they put money and resources where they are helping European businesses particularly SMEs, 90 per cent of the EUs growth in the future will come from MSME, and from the first time they are putting money on enabling EU MSMEs to do business in third markets.
“So there is this amazing window of opportunity in PNG, we are falling well behind, in China, Korea, India, Sri Lanka, even in New Zealand, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.
“The opportunities would be realised through their business chambers linking up and coming up with programmes with the EU, putting resources, labour and capital into linking EU businesses with businesses in those economies, and that will include both the capital and the supply.”