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Informal Economy Sectoral Committee



To encourage the development and elevation of informal economy activities in the country so that employment and income earning opportunities are created for the greater majority allowing for poverty reduction and potentially improving in the living standards of participants in the informal economy sector.


Strengthen the mechanisms that provide legal assistance to informal economy participants review and reform legislation to create a conducive environment for informal economic activities.
Strengthen existing mechanisms to allow better representation of Informal Economy Participants in the decision making processes.
Devise strategic campaigns to raise awareness  about the informal economy and related activities support and strengthen existing training and capacity building mechanisms for administering authorities and informal economic participants.

Composition of the Informal Economy Committee

The Committee is chaired by Ms. Anna Solomon–Secretary of the Department for Community Development & Religion. SME Corporation through the Office of the Managing Director Co-Chairs the Committee. The Committee comprises of a wide range of industry, government and civil society partners. These partners are also members of the Informal Economy Voice Mechnism Sub-Committee created to develop the Voice Strategy.

Composition of the Committee membership remains open and consist of the following;
a) Government Departments and Agencies
•    Department for Community Development & Religion
•    SME Corporation
•    Department of National Planning & Monitoring
•    Department of Treasury
•    Department of Justice & Attorney General
•    Department of Labour & Industrial Relations
•    Constitutional Law Reform Commission
•    Department of Provincial & Local Government Affairs
•    Department of Trade, Commerce & Industry
•    Investment Promotion Authority
•    National Research Institute (NRI)
•    Mineral Resources Authority
•    Bank of Papua New Guinea
•    Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI)
•    National Capital District Commission
b). Private Sector
•    Micro Bank Limited
c). Research and Academia
•    National Research Institute (NRI)
d) Civil Society & Churches
•    Seventh Day Adventist – Central Papua Conference
•    Little Income Generation Womens’ Association (LIGWA)
e) Development Partners
•    European Union
•    UNWomen
•    Asian Development Bank
•    IFC
Others with interest in these areas are welcome

Our Roles

The Informal Economy Committee meets on a regular basis to provide advice, direction, and to lobby for policy and legislative changes that promote informal economic development in PNG.



Recent Accomplishments

  • Initiated and subsequently worked alongside the Constitutional Law Reform Commission and other key stakeholders to review the Informal Sector Development & Control Act 2004. A Bill and its accompanying report is awaiting tabling before the National Executive Council (NEC) for deliberation;
  • Developed the Informal Economy Voice Strategy. The strategy is now in its Final Draft and awaits further validation before it is tabled before the National Executive Council for deliberation;
  • Assisted the Department for Community Development & Religion to institutionalise and take lead in the implementation of the National Informal Economy Policy 2011-2015 and other related initiatives on the informal economy. This has resulted in the establishment of the Informal Economy Section that is headed by an Assistant Secretary and supported by technical and support staff of five (5) with plans to recruit more is and when the need arises;
  • Assisted the Department for Community Development & Religion to carry out the global first National Audit of Informal Economy. The survey provides and up to date comprehensive look into the PNG’s Informal Economy and will lay the foundation for important reforms in the area of policies and legislations.

Final drat of Voice Strategy
Informal economy Survey Summary Findings Report


The Informal Economy Sectoral Committee of the Consultative Implementation and Monitoring Council (CIMC) and the Department of Community Development & Religion jointly conducted a series of workshops around the country starting in 2013. The workshops were about the Content, Implementation and Challenges of the National Informal Economy Policy 2011-2015. It was to make key stakeholders especially town authorities, LLG Presidents and Provincial Governments aware of the NATIONAL INFORMAL ECONOMY POLICY 2011-2015.  The workshops were aimed at making decision makers, beneficiaries and affected parties aware of what is entailed in the policy, the implementation challenges associated with lack of funding and government support in general and the initiatives being spearheaded by various government and private sector agencies in implementing the policy. The need to develop the policy emanated from the enactment of the INFORMAL SECTOR DEVELOPMENT & CONTROL ACT 2004 which was an initiative by then Minister for Community Development, Dame Carol Kidu. The Act was developed and enacted to protect the interest of Informal Economy participants, many of whom are women, children and unemployed youths. It was intended that that this policy would enable the implementation of the existing Informal Sector Development & Control Act 2004. After the workshops were concluded reports were compiled and circulated among stakeholders. Copies of the various reports are made available here for the convenience of interested parties.

Alotau Workshop Report
Lae Workshop Report
Madang Workshop Report
Vanimo Workshop report
Mt Hagen Workshop Report

A two-day Informal Economy Policy familiarisation workshop was organised by CIMC through its Informal Economy Sectoral Committee. The workshop was aimed at familiarising leaders/representatives of the various NCD based Informal Economy Vendors associations on key government initiatives geared towards supporting the informal economy in NCD. Workshop participants apart from the leaders of Informal Economy Vendors Associations included relevant government agencies, development partners, media and church. A total of 110 people participated in the workshop over the course of two days. Majority of the participants came from 16 vendor associations within the Gordons and Gerehu markets with women over represented. Department of National Planning & Monitoring, Department for Community Development & Religion, Department of Justice & Attorney General, Investment Promotion Authority, Independent Consumer & Competition Commission, Constitutional Law Reform Commission, Office of Urbanisation, SME Corporation and National Capital District Commission represented the government of Papua New Guinea while the Central Papua Conference of SDA Church and UNWomen represented the Church and development partners respectively.

Presentations from the workshop included presentations on the National Informal Economy Policy 2011-2015, update on the review of the Informal Sector Development & Control Act 2004 and the Informal Economy Voice Strategy 2018-2022. Depending on the theme for each session presenters including selected key individuals and agencies were invited to be panel members. For each session a chairperson was appointed to control the flow of discussion. An array of topics relating to the informal economy policy and law and the Informal Economy Voice Strategy were discussed. This included urbanisation/urban development planning and its implication on the informal economy especially those in the urban areas; financial inclusion and financial literacy, the role of Police in controlling the informal economy, the various challenges confronting those who vendor inside and outside markets.  Discussions from the policy would be used to inform the review of the National Informal Economy Policy 2011-2015. This exercise will be headed by the Department for Community Development & Religion in collaboration with the CIMC.   The outcome report can be viewed here.




Following are links to some of the work done by the Committee during the year.
Most of them relate to indept articles written about issues and successes relatign to PNG informal economy and published on various mediums i.e.  ANU’s Policy Development Blogsite, Pacific Institute of Public Policy and East Asia Forum. 

1)      http://devpolicy.org/planning-for-a-more-productive-informal-economy-in-png/

2)      http://devpolicy.org/a-tough-nut-to-crack-legislating-for-papua-new-guineas-informal-economy-20150526/

3)      http://devpolicy.org/betelnut-beyond-bans-spot-fines-20160825/

4)      http://devpolicy.org/election-looms-png-political-parties-consider-supporting-informal-economy-20170517/

5)      http://devpolicy.org/reflections-png-governments-interventions-informal-economy-20171114/

6)      http://devpolicy.org/organising-disorganised-proposed-informal-economy-voice-strategy-20180129/

7)      http://pnginformaleconomist.blogspot.com/2015/11/new-law-on-informal-economy-could-be_11.html

8)   http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2015/12/05/getting-pngs-informal-economy-right/

9)   http://pnginformaleconomist.blogspot.com/2015/11/


 In 2000, the Informal Economy Committee commissioned a study that reviewed the constraints to Informal Economy development in coordination with the INA/CIMC/ADB/UNDP.

The results of the study gave birth to the Informal Sector Development and Control Act (2004). The Act encourages the development of the Informal Economy by organizing in a manner that promotes public health and cleanliness. The Act is aimed at creating employment opportunities, income generation to eradicate poverty and improve the living standards of Papua New Guineans.

Recently in 2011, the National Informal Economy Policy 2011-2015 was launched in Port Moresby by Dame Carol Kidu who was then Minister for Community Development.

Work in Progress

1) Established the Public Goods and Services and Financial Inclusion Sub-Committees with their own terms of reference to guide the successful implementation of the National Informal Economy Policy. These two committees report to the CIMC Informal Economy Committee (IEC)
2) Initiated the review of the INFORMAL SECTOR DEVELOPMENT & CONTROL ACT 2004. CLRC has allocated funding and is leading the review with support from CIMC, NCDC, Dept for Community Development and key stakeholders.
3) Published pamphlets on the NATIONAL INFORMAL ECONOMY POLICY 2011-2015 for public information
4) Currently developing pamphlets that contain information about its own functions and responsibilities to be disseminated out to the public
5) Instrumental in developing the idea of a FINANCIAL INCLUSION EXPO to amplify to the public and the government about the serious issue of financial exclusion
6) BPNG successfully hosted the first FINANCIAL INCLUSION EXPO in Lae from 30th November to the 1st of December 2012. CIMC IEC is a member of the EXPO Planning Committee
7) CIMC IEC  is currently a member of the National Child Labor Tackle Project Advisory Committee, a project that looks at developing a national policy on dealing with the issue of child labor
8) CIMC IEC is currently a member of the Working Group on Employment Review which is a working group established under Department of Labor & Industrial Relations to  review the Employment Policy and the development of an Employment Act in PNG.
9) CIMC IEC is currently a member of the UNWOMEN Safe Cities Market Project Steering Committee
10) CIMC IEC is currently a member of the Department of Health Food Sanitation Council.
11) Currently developing a 3 year Implementation plan for the National Informal Economy Policy 2011-2015

Informal Economy

Informal ‘Economy’, NOT informal ‘sector’ because informal economic activities are part o f Papua New Guineas’ total economic system. It is more accurate to speak of the ‘informal economy’, and not the ‘informal sector’. The informal economy should be recognized as an important partner in PNGs’ economic growth and development.
The informal economy (IE) is a set of legal business activities that are socially desirable and an avenue for long term economic growth.  It is comprised of small business activities that do not use high levels of technology or require a lot of money to start. It includes making, distributing and selling goods or providing services at low levels of productivity. Mobile traders are considered members of the informal economy.
Informal Economy does not include those who provide professional services or act as an agent of business and is liable to pay tax. The Informal Economy creates jobs for over 80% of the total population and generates incomes for families, reduces poverty, reduces crime, drives our economy and contributes to long term development of Papua New Guinea


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