It makes no difference whether you are a self employed wood carver or the managing director of an enormous food factory, the Papua New Guinea Chamber of Manufacturers deserves your support.
This enterprising organisation welcomes all manufacturers to its members list in order to generate the widest possible cross section of opinions and ideas.
The impact of the chamber on Papua New Guinea has been something of a phenomenon. Formed in 1991, it has been propelled from initial obscurity into one of the most influential and respected bodies in the country.
“It is only when all the manufacturers in this country combine their individual strengths that Papua New Guinea can move forward,” explained Wayne Golding, the Chamber’s straight-talking chairman.
“It is essential PNG starts to process more products locally rather than sending them abroad. Only by doing this can this country graduate to a more industry- based economy.”
The role of the chamber is to offer its 2,500 strong members both information and assistance on all aspects of manufacturing and to promote competitively priced Papua New Guinean products, not only across the country, but world-wide.
“The chamber is always pushing to create more export opportunities,” said Wayne. “Since 1992 we have been holding an annual trade fair in Port Moresby. A lthough it is still very much a local event I think in time it will spark interest from abroad.
“Creating a solid manufacturing industry in Papua New Guinea is the only way to combat unemployment and the best way to benefit the long term prosperity of the country.”
Although the Chamber of Manufacturers is apolitical it is not without influence on government policy. A phrase the chamber likes to use to sum up its political stance is “negotiation not confrontation.” It prides itself on working with the government rather than against it.
The chamber not only airs the concerns of its members with the relevant ministries but offers advice to the government on everything from fiscal planning to customs duty and tariffs.
Manufacturers in this country are becoming increasingly innovative,” stressed Wayne. “ A new cannery to process locally caught fish is in the pipeline and there are moves to have more timber processed internally.
“While some developed countries have already exhausted their manufacturing base, in PNG we are only just starting to discover ours. I am very optimistic for the future.”