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Cooperative Societies gets heads up from Tourism Office

The Department of Commerce and Industry of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea and the Department of Commerce, Trade and Economic Development of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville Government are conducting one-week awareness in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (ARoB).

This is to inform the Small Medium Enterprises (SME) and the Small Holder Farmers (SMH) throughout the region about registering the Cooperative Societies and that there will be a Help Desk service for the entrepreneurs who want advice and information on registering their projects and business activities.

The first open dialogue awareness was conducted yesterday at the Bel Isi Park, Buka town which got the public to interact freely and ask questions on the processes of registration and ways of getting funding assistance to start business proposals and projects.

Secretary for Department of Commerce and Industry in PNG, Mr David Ganaii encouraged the entreprenuers and farmers that there was a Cooperative Society Act 1985, which guided the operation of establishing a cooperative society in Papua New Guinea including Bougainville and under the Act, this can give the societies many advantages and opportunities to build and extend their business and projects.

Mr Ganaii said that a Help Desk will be here in Bougainville when a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is signed between both departments. The Help Desk will have specialists who will attend to general queries on registration of the cooperative societies.

Secretary for Department of Commerce Trade and Economic Development in Bougainville, Alex Kerangpuna welcomed the delegates from PNG and encouraged the public to register their socities.

Kerangpuna said that: “Our gathering here today marks the commencement of the economic empowerment activities for our communities to participate as equal players in the region’s pursuit for economic independence reliance and so when we look back,  we have achieved the political referendum and now are working towards achieving self reliance.”

He said that both departments were supposed to sign an MOU today but is still waiting clearance from the solicitors on the roles and responsibilities of the departments with the cooperative societies here in Bougainville.

Meanwhile, the team will be in the three regions to talk to cooperative societies in the open dialogue awareness which will get the public to understand that any business group in the agriculture and commercial sector in the constituencies can register and benefit and contribute to the economic growth in the region, he said.

I as the secretary want to express my appreciation to the national team as they are here for us and want to help us move the cooperative societies programme in Bougainville forward, he said.

The Cooperative Society Act 1985 allows a person or group of people to register their business  interest and have easy access to funding support. There are currently more than 100 cooperative societies in Bougainville which needed to be register thus, the Help Desk, will cater for that service once launched in the region.

The proposed region-wide awareness will take place as follows:

• North Bougainville, Buka – 06th September 2022 Venue: Bel Isi Park

•Central Bougainville, Arawa – 08th September 2022 Venue: Sharp Memorial

•South Bougainville, Buin – 9th September 2022 Venue: Buin Administration Stage

Further questions or queries on the Cooperative Societies awareness can be directed to Mr. Stanford Komena, Director for SME, ABG Department of Commerce, Trade and Economic Development Phone: 7191 4676 Email:


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