The lack of insurance coverage by insurance firms for businesses remains one of the greatest impediments to economic growth and direct foreign investments on Bougainville.
Insurance firms in Papua New Guinea have a clause in their policies where it explicitly states that they will not offer insurance coverage for businesses that operate on Bougainville.
This policy was created due to the unfavorable business environment created in Bougainville as an aftermath of the ten-year civil war 1988 - 1998.
In the last twenty years since the signing of the Bougainville Peace Agreement in 2001 people have worked hard to cultivate a conducive business environment on Bougainville.
Despite this, insurance firms have shown no sign of relenting and doing away with the very unfair policy.
The policy has affected the growth of a lot of local businesses who seek assistance from financial institutions but have had their requests refused on the grounds that Bougainville lacks insurance coverage and the assumed security threats on Bougainville.
Bougainville President Ishmael Toroama said that this is a very unfair and discriminatory policy because it singles out Bougainville as the only part of Papua New Guinea where insurance cover is not applicable.
“My government cannot be made to wait for these firms to change their insurance policies,” President Toroama said.
“I will be directing the Bougainville Administration to look at possible means for the ABG to offer insurance and a security guarantee for businesses that are interested to invest and operate on Bougainville,” President Toroama added.
“As head of this government I want to extend the Autonomous Bougainville Government’s assurance to any investor who is interested in investing in our abundant resources that we will guarantee your interests on Bougainville,” President Toroama said.
“The government will offer its support and security guarantee to any credible investor that is compliant with our laws and policies,” he said.
“We are no different from any other part of Papua New Guinea except for our political aspirations for an independent Bougainville,” he said.
“We offer a safe and secure environment for investments and we are open for business,” President Toroama said.
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