Parliament Meeting adjourned to Tuesday 6th November 2018 at 2:00 pm

SPEAKER’S INAUGURAL INVESTMENT SUMMIT 2018

Date Posted: September 03 2018

Inaugural Speakers Investment Summit a success
 

Speaker Job Pomat has expressed sincere gratitude and appreciation to everyone who have played major roles in ensuring the Inaugural Speaker’s Investment Summit was successfully organized and concluded.

The first ever two days summit on September 3rd and 4th, 2018 at the Parliament House has achieved its  objective in getting the Parliament Members and the business leaders and organizations together with the aim to promote business and the political leadership to build modern districts and provinces.

Growing a greater PNG, Infinite Opportunities was the key message for the Speakers Investment Summit.

The summit brought in business leaders and investors to discuss various development models, public private partnerships framework, economic policies and models from other countries and foreign investment platforms keen to grow the agriculture, tourism and SME sectors.

The program includes exhibitions of products and services from various business houses and agencies and discussions from various leaders and speakers on various businesses and economic activities in building PNG’s development programs and agenda.

The Summit was staged in two group with exhibition and display of products and services and panel discussions by leaders, business representatives and international speakers.

Mr Pomat thanked the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and the Members for their attendance and all the business houses for their support. He also thanked the Clerk of Parliament Vela Konivaro for his leadership with his staff including Investment Promotion Authority and Business Council PNG for planning and staging the Summit to its success.

He said suggestions have been put forward on improving the Summit so after the debriefing, these ideas

will be discussed and looked at.

 The Summit was staged in two group with exhibition and display of products and services and panel discussions by leaders, business representatives and international speakers.

Mr Pomat thanked the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and the Members for their attendance and all the business houses for their support. He also thanked the Clerk of Parliament Vela Konivaro for his leadership with his staff including Investment Promotion Authority and Business Council PNG for planning and staging the Summit to its success.

He said suggestions have been put forward on improving the Summit so after the debriefing, these ideas

will be discussed and looked at.

 The Inaugural Speaker Investment Summit has received positive feedback and is now a matter for discussion between the Speaker of Parliament and the stakeholders and partners to discuss the way forward in providing for this event on a biannual or annual basis

The Speaker’s Summit derives from the interest indicated by the Members during the 10th National Parliament induction last year for a closer relationship with the National Parliament and the business

Community.

Statement by the Speaker on the Occassion of the Official Opening of the Speaker's Summit-3rd September, 2018, Parliament House

The Prime Minister, State Ministers and Honourable Members of the Tenth National Parliament of Papua New Guinea, distinguished guests from here and abroad.

Let me welcome you all to this, the first ever Speaker’s Investment Summit.

Let me at the outset acknowledge our partners in this event namely, the Business Council of Papua New Guinea and the Investment Promotion Authority, who have worked tirelessly to make this event possible.

The hosting of this event comes at a time when the attention of our whole country and the world is being drawn towards the APEC meeting and its related activities.

We appreciate that most of our partners may have APEC commitments and so commend them for making time available to participate in this event.

Why a Speakers Summit?

During the post evaluation of the 2017 Members’ Induction Programme last August, Honourable Members of the House expressed the interest to continue to engage with the business community, donor agencies and other development partners in dialogue to foster a more meaningful working relationship between them.

This, the Speaker’s Investment Summit, is the result of that interest.

Together with the Investment Promotion Authority and the Business Council of Papua New Guinea, the idea of the Summit was developed with the objective to promote dialogue between business and political leadership.

This Summit brings an opportunity for all Members of Parliament not just those in the Executive, to engage with development partners. It also targets Member’s support staff who, in most instances, are the key agents for delivering development programmes and aspirations on behalf of MPs in their respective constituencies.

Many a time, backbenchers are left out of development forums or events because these are held primarily overseas or in destinations that are difficult for Members of Parliament to access due to various reasons.

This Summit brings those discussions and opportunities to their doorstep - this HOUSE.

In recent years, there has been a growing trend in the changing functions of Members of Parliament. Besides their traditional, representative, and lawmaking functions and providing oversight to government roles, more Parliamentarians are now required to oversee the disbursement of electoral development funds - what we call here in PNG, the DSIP and PSIP. In fact, the PNG experience has been used by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association to develop a tool kit for the management of Constituency Development Funds.

This Summit may contribute towards the further development of that tool kit.

The development of a nation can be likened to a ship at sea. The politics is the rudder, business, the engine room, and the other sectors of the economy make up the other parts of the ship. The Judiciary is similar to the ballast, to make sure that the ship is on an even keel, and the Ombudsman Commission ensures that the life boats are in place and working, and so on and so forth.

However, without the rudder system or the engine room or both, the ship cannot reach its desired destination. Therefore, Politics and Business must work together in order for the country to progress and reach its intended goals.

I note from this Inaugural Summit, that discussions will tie in topics such as past experiences, to be led by some of our former Prime Ministers, sustainable development solutions, experiences from the global community, new innovations in the Agriculture and Technology sector, SMEs, our laws and how they affect business, and also contributions from international financial institutions and donor partners.

These discussions may seem to vary, but they will focus on one goal. Delivering!

Then there are of course the booths and exhibits where most of the real exchange is expected to happen.

During the 2017 Induction Programme, we saw that a lot of the display and exhibition booths were actually manned by CEOs of their respective companies.

This Summit should be no different and we are expecting the same. Everybody is keen to show case their products and services. Without doubt, that kind of commitment can only bring positive outcomes.

The creation of investment opportunities is a key pillar in the 2nd National Goal and Directive Principle of the Constitution which states, in subsection (9), that –

 “We declare our second goal to be for all citizens to have an equal opportunity to participate in, and benefit from, the development of our country.”

“WE ACCORDINGLY CALL FOR – every citizen to be able to participate, either directly or through a representative, in the consideration of any matter affecting his interests or the interests of his community;”

This Summit is intended to foster compliance with that Principle.

Now, undoubtedly there will be critics, sceptics and cynics advocating against Parliament holding or facilitating such a meet.

I acknowledge that we do not all share the same views.

Some fundamental cornerstones of our democracy are, the Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Association, which together with the National Goals and Directives Principles, allow us to have a vibrant and thriving Papua New Guinea.

So on that note I would like to pose a couple of questions to the panel in order to kick start discussions.

Firstly, should Parliament as the supreme law making body in the land, open its doors to the Business Community?

Secondly, by promoting this Summit are we compromising the traditional values of the Legislature and the decorum of this great institution?

These are valid questions which the participants can consider as we move forward with the programme.

With those remarks, I now declare the inaugural Speaker’s Investment Summit officially Open.

In closing may God Bless us and be with us all during the course of this event.

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