18 Apr 2013

Bougainville to legislate to limit foreign involvement in business to joint ventures

1:49 pm on 18 April 2013

The President of the autonomous Papua New Guinea province of Bougainville, John Momis, says the province fears foreigners could take over the local retail sector, so his government will legislate to restrict their involvement.

Mr Momis says Chinese and other foreigners will be shut out of owning trade stores and eateries but encouraged to form joint partnerships in other sectors.

He says they want to have joint ventures with credible foreign businesses, such as large wholesalers or supermarket operators.

Mr Momis acknowledges that Bougainville needs foreign investment.

"But by the same token you need to offer them comfort by involving local participation because then the people would make them feel welcome. Standalone forms of business, you can be sure that the people would start complaining and they might do silly things as they did before."

Mr Momis says the fear is that without legislation foreigners could take over all retail such as has happened in other parts of PNG.