Several ABV representatives have spent a very interesting few days at the Australia–Papua New Guinea Business Forum.

A key theme across most sessions was the need to focus on SME development in order to meet the PNG government’s objective of raising the number of SMEs in the country from around 50,000 to 500,000 by 2030.

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has said, “Papua New Guineans are great entrepreneurs. Our people are ingenious and develop creative business ideas, but often do not have access to the financial and business skills training they need.”

ABV CEO Liz Mackinlay and Chairman Mark Epper were able to speak to the Prime Minister about how ABV builds human capability to create and sustain successful business.

ABV met with many people interested in ABV’s capabilities, and a number including Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato, who knew ABV well and were highly complementary of our work in PNG over the years.

Engaging with business and government in several key countries including Papua New Guinea reflects ABV’s new strategic direction – playing to our strengths while continuing our long-held focus on contributing to inclusive growth through the private sector, at a time when involving and harnessing the private sector is increasingly a focus of international development efforts worldwide.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill (left) at the ABV stall with CEO Liz Mackinlay (centre) and Chair Mark Epper (right)

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