14 Jul 2008

Bougainville people promised investment opportunities

11:37 am on 14 July 2008

There are plans to start a mini stock exchange in the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville, to give Bougainvilleans opportunities to invest in development in the province.

Robert Atsir is the chairman of the Bogenvil Resource Development Corporation or BRDC, which controversially is 70 percent owned by a Canadian company, Invincible Resources.

This shareholding has been widely criticised but Mr Atsir says Invincible's involvement is vital initially, though the plan is for Bougainvilleans to eventually take majority control.

He says once there is economic activity Bougainvilleans will have the funds to buy shares in BRDC, including through a mini sharemarket to be established in the province.

"And I am spearheading that, to make sure that Bougainvilleans will be able to buy shares in entities that are going to come and operate businesses in Bougainville, both foreign entities as well as local businesses, to list in this sub-stock exchange in Bougainville, so that Bougainvilleans do have an avenue for saving and investing through the stock exchange."