IPA to review Act

The Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) is determined to ensure that the Investment Promotion Act is satisfactorily reviewed to fulfil its mandated roles and responsibilities.

This is to ensure the promotion and facilitation of investments both foreign and domestic.

In its second issue of the Opportunity Newsletter for 2021, the IPA says the proposed amendments to the Investment Promotion Act allow PNG to remain open to foreign investment but will improve processes for reviewing the Cottage Business Activities List (CBAL), also known as the Reserved Activities List (RAL), and introduce a Restricted Activities List.

These activities will be identified under the proposed amendments and accompanying regulations.

The amendments also incorporate improved review mechanisms to determine activities included under these lists.

As the first point of contact for foreign investors in PNG, governance improvements are being incorporated into the amendments in order to improve IPA’s ability to manage the foreign certification system.

The amendments also introduce a number of provisions to enable better compliance and monitoring of both individual certificate holders and the foreign investment system in general.

This information is valuable to ensure that responsible foreign investment is promoted in PNG, as well as provide information for system improvements over time.

A key change is the introduction of the position of the Registrar of Foreign Investment, a dedicated role responsible for the administration of the foreign investment system to improve overall compliance and monitoring.

The amendments will reform the current certification system by adopting a system similar to registration under the Companies Act, with a simpler and quicker foreign certification process proposed.

Currently it can take over a month to obtain a foreign certificate after applying.

Registrations will be approved by the Registrar unless defined disqualifying criteria are triggered.

This will create additional certainty for foreign investors to ascertain what types of foreign investment are permissible in the country.

It will also enable faster certification of foreign entities as the Registrar is empowered to approve applications on a rolling basis.

The review process began in 2019 in line with the National Government’s agenda to promote the growth of Micro- Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) to become the backbone of the economy.

Press release