3 Jun 2003

PNG Chamber of Commerce head defends sale of Government share in palm oil company

5:40 pm on 3 June 2003

The president of the Papua New Guinea Chamber of Commerce, Michael Mayberry, says opponents to the planned sale of a palm oil company could have bought into it if they had wanted to.

The PNG government is considering selling its 50 percent interest in Hargy Palm Oil for a fraction of its value, to its venture partner, SA SIPEF of Belgium.

The proposal has drawn protests from landowners, the Western Province government and the Agriculture Secretary.

Mr Mayberry, the former privatisation commissioner, says the government needs to raise money and the sale has been public for some time now.

"This sale was organised some time ago, when we were under extreme pressure from donor countries to address some of the issues and we extensively asked around and there was no interest. That's all very well if people come later on and saying of well they would've offered more."

Michael Mayberry.