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PM Marape supports idea of nationally-owned commercial banks in PNG

Prime Minister  James Marape says there is space for more commercial banks in Papua New Guinea.He said this in Port Moresby last Thursday (November 4th 2021) night when launching the PNG SME Bank Crowdfunding Movement Online Project of PNG Think Tank Group Inc.

PM Marape launching the PNG SME Bank Crowdfunding Movement Online Project of PNG Think Tank Group Inc.

The project, which uses PM Marape’s ‘Take Back PNG’ catch cry, aims to rally all small to medium enterprises and “unbankable” people in PNG to form and own their own bank through crowdfunding.

“This idea (of a nationally-owned commercial bank) is not bad,” the Prime Minister told a fullhouse crowd at Dynasty Restaurant.

“There is space for one more bank or two more banks in our country.”

PM Marape cited the case of the small Pacific island nation of Tuvalu, with a population of 30,000 people, who owned their own bank.

PM Marape speaking during the launching.

“Karkar Island (Madang) has 80,000 people, Kiriwina Island (Milne Bay) has 60,000 people, Manus is a province of about 50,000 people,” he said.

“Many of our provinces are bigger than Pacific island countries – who own their own banks, telecommunication companies and companies in their small economic enclaves.”

PM Marape with PNG Think Tank Group Inc officials at the launching.

PM Marape said PNG’s growing population and business turnover warranted more commercial banks.

“I think the concept of crowdfunding a bank that is owned by Papua New Guineans is not out of place,” he said.

“This is a step in the right direction so don’t step back, keep on moving.”

PM Marape said the commercial banking industry in PNG was not the “exclusive domain” of a chosen few.

“My Government is in the business of retaining money in-country,” he said.”

“That includes funding banks that have permanent residence, address and shareholders in the country.

“That is why we totally support this pursuit.”

PM Marape said Papua New Guineans should just step out of the status quo and take the initiative to create new concepts.

“For this pursuit, you are doing the right thing,” he said.

“There is a need for a new bank, you have stepped out already, let’s walk down this path and hopefully – in good time – a banking license is conferred and you are working as a bank that is truly Papua New Guinean and for Papua New Guinean businesses.

“We can form a bank that is truly responsive to embrace the 60 to 70 per cent of Papua New Guineans out there.

“The Government has full support for this programme.” 


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