September 26, 2017.
BY JERRY SEFE of Post – Courier
Photo Courtesy of Alamy Stock Photo
Since Papua New Guinea’s APEC 2018 Coordination is on track to deliver its target outline, businesses are also preparing to gain direct benefits and long term business opportunities from the event.
Unlike other business organizations in the country the PNG Jaukae Bilum Products and Goroka Bilum Cooperative are calling on the national government to make the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders summit an avenue to recognize and establish a Bilum Industry in the country.
The call was made by Florence Jaukae Kamel, Managing Director and Principal Artist of the Jaukae Bilum Products and Founder of Goroka Bilum Weavers Cooperative and Goroka Bilum Festival.
Kamel said Papua New Guinea Bilum Industry is one of the least growing industries that require government attention to establish proper market venues for the 80 percent of PNG women who sell their products.
“I believe the APEC will open doors for us and the government to recognize what we are doing as a way forward in creating more employment opportunities, improve living standards and ultimately alleviate poverty in PNG communities” Kamel said.
She said APEC will highlight a variety of opportunities that the business sector can adapt to capitalize on and Bilum which is one of the country’s very own pride and product must be given an opportunity.
Kamel said she was also advised that the direct benefits for businesses in PNG will go to the private sector according to the APEC committees and either way a Bilum Industry must be established.
“We have done our best by showcasing PNG bilums in a variety of products that have captured global attention while traveling the world and it is time our government make a stand with us” she said.
“Businesses throughout the country can expect to find a wide range of opportunities in the lead-up to APE leaders’ summit over the years and it is a must that the country has its very own bilum industry by then”.
“The Industry once established will be generating revenue for the country while changing the phase of local bilum and fashion designers to join the industry and help grow with the outside business-world”.