PNG: land of opportunities or contradictions?

Check out the snazzy new National Research Institute (NRI) website, and in particular this speech from NRI Director Dr Charles Yala, presented to the Australia-PNG Alumni Conference last month. In a wide-ranging and thought-provoking address, Dr Yala makes three main points (to quote):

  • Man-made constraints to business are the real obstacles to business development in PNG. The natural barriers to businesses, often described in the form of the topography, fast flowing rivers, meandering tributaries, islands, and cultural diversity, to name a few, are value adding opportunities. We can harness them for good.
  • Businesses that operate successfully in PNG are those which are led by committed individuals, shareholders and venture investors.
  • We need to think outside of the box. We must promote what has worked, discard what is not working, and innovate to learn from the mistakes of the past. We must fix the broken systems rather than feeding from the broken systems. We must harness our natural beauty and landscape to develop the country.

Stephen Howes

Stephen Howes is the Director of the Development Policy Centre and a Professor of Economics at the Crawford School.

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