Australian High Commission
Papua New Guinea

151205 Speech Kumulgamechangers

Launch of Kumul Gamechangers initiative
Holiday Inn Ballroom, Port Moresby
Friday 5 December 2014
Remarks by HE Ms Deborah Stokes
Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea

I am pleased to be here today to witness the launch of this exciting initiative.

‘Kumul Gamechangers’ is about encouraging aspiring Papua New Guineans to drive the economic development of this country.

The Australian Government launched a new foreign aid policy this year which sets a new direction for our assistance.

It emphasises inclusive economic growth led by the private sector and places the private sector at the heart of the aid program.

Kumul Gamechangers is just the kind of innovative approach to private sector development that we want to support.

More broadly, Australia’s assistance for private sector development in PNG is expanding to focus on four areas:
• helping PNG improve the business enabling environment
• supporting agriculture and agri-business
• financial inclusion; and
• business and development partnerships.

Greater collaboration between business and development partners will help Government achieve its development objectives and support inclusive economic growth.

The PNG economy continues to grow at a rapid pace. But not broadly based.

For most businesses in PNG the operating environment remains a challenge.

Kumul Gamechangers is about helping PNG’s entrepreneurs to really flex their muscle in this emerging economy and to grasp the huge opportunities.

I hope this initiative unearths many aspiring men and women entrepreneurs.

Investing in women and businesses led by women is very important for PNG.

Economic empowerment of women leads to much wider improvements in the lives of families and communities as a whole. It is a virtuous circle.

I would like to thank our partners in this program, the United Nations Development Program, the Kumul Foundation and strategic partners; the

Business Council of PNG, PNG Commerce & Industry and the PNG Business Coalition for Women.

We need creative and innovative development thinkers, and we are delighted to be associated with these partners in the delivery of this exciting initiative.

Finally, I want to encourage entrepreneurs in this room and throughout PNG to take up this fantastic opportunity.

With the support of the Kumul Gamechangers initiative we hope to see good ideas turn into profitable businesses.

PNG is a land of opportunity.

We need more entrepreneurs to build the foundations of an inclusive and sustainable economy.

Thank you and good luck to all involved.