BY MELISHA YAFOI
Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull emphasised this yesterday at the Australia- Papua New Guinea Business breakfast in Port Moresby before his departure for India.
Mr Turnbull said this says a lot in its investment in mining, oil and gas and it contributes to PNG’s economic growth for both countries.
He highlighted that almost 5,000 Australian companies are doing business in PNG through a two way economic relationship being united through development goals and big trade agreements.
He made mentioned that the merchandise trade between the two has seen a drop partly due to the downturn in the commodities market and as foreign businesses accessing the PNG markets.
“PNG already has a duty free access to the Australian market but more can be done about the bio-security arrangements, our requirements and you’ve got high quality products that Australia distributes.
The recent ministerial forum has agreed to look and establish a trade, investment and economic working group to address economic issues and foster for operations,” he said.
Mr Turnbull said both governments have recognised that many things need to be done to improve the business environment for businesses to come and invest in PNG. He pointed out that PNG has been receiving significant corporation and large scale investments which was attracted by its vast and rich resources.
“ExxonMobil, Santos and Oil Search who have seen how transforming it has seen how foreign investment has been contributing to PNG’s infrastructure and skills development and also contributing the doubling of employment in PNG by the private sector in the past ten years.
“It also creates opportunities for local suppliers to support local communities and investments in education, health and on the environment. New and major projects are already in the pipeline including extending of the ExxonMobil $26 million LNG projects that will develop new gas fields.
“To make this a reality and to extend the benefits of investments for more Papua New Guineans, you must continue to work together to bring all best practices that will attract long term investment. As we all know will benefit both regions.
“Now is crucial as large projects are the engine of the economy and the diversification must encourage the growth of the economy and our businesses.
“Had it not been for the big free trade agreements that we secure, the opening of access for full range of exports for the markets from Australia servicing agricultural products will not be possible.
To have a resilient economy, brilliant economy is absolutely critical,” he said.