16 Jun 2003

PNG's Chamber of Commerce casts doubts on the incentives launched to promote the agricultural indust

10:17 am on 16 June 2003

The president of the Papua New Guinea Chamber of Commerce, Michael Mayberry, says the Government's package of incentives for agriculture does little to enhance investor confidence.

The incentives include tax deductions for research, tax credits and cuts to corporate and income tax, duty free machinery, lower excise on diesel, the removal of foreign exchange controls and the dropping of tax assessments on dividend payments for shareholders.

The changes have been welcomed by the agricultural industry, with one company spokesman saying it will spark a green revolution in PNG.

However Mr Mayberry says the government should have tried addressing the bigger problem of flagging overseas investor confidence.

"These issues are more designed to help the current people that are here rather than new investors, because a lot of the issues are issues that are vitally important to present operators. But the other thing is that its only part and parcel of some of the issues that are a problem."

Michael Mayberry says roads and law and order also need to be addressed in the rural areas.