PORT MORESBY, 12 DECEMBER 2019 (THE NATIONAL) — China is the leading investor in the country, followed closely by Australia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore, according to the Investment Promotion Authority (IPA).

Managing director Clarence Hoot told the Start-Up PNG convention in Port Moresby on Tuesday that Australia used to be the leading investor in the country as recently as two years ago, but that had changed.

He said data was taken from the foreign enterprise certification process.

“As of August 2019, according to the statistics, the chain of investment has been going into real estate, followed closely by construction, the financial sector and wholesale and retail,” he said.

While providing an update of its working relationship with other agencies and provinces in promoting small to medium enterprises (SMEs), Hoot said IPA had instituted a programme of agreements (memorandum of understanding) with 10 provinces.

“Out of those 10 provinces, three help desks have been launched,” he said.

“In trying to get the IPA services to the provinces, these MOUs provide a conduit whereby the IPA works closely with provincial administrations.

“By that, we provide some equipment to the commerce divisions in particular and conduct training.

Such services we provide at the head office can be provided at the provincial level.

“We have a working relationship with the all the chambers of commerce, with the Internal Revenue Commission (IRC), and we wish to continue that into the future.”

With the issue of compliance, Hoot said there was a counter set up at the IPA head office at Konedobu, Port Moresby for assistance…. (PACNEWS)