Category Archives: Business

Court dismisses Kramer’s review bid

The Waigani National Court has dismissed an application by Frank Kramer to review a decision by Cabinet and Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s to remove him as director and chairman of the board of Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited (KPHL).
Justice Colin Makail (pictured) dismissed Kramer’s judicial review case as it would have been an abuse of the court’s process because the matter was for private law and not pubic law to deal with, he said.
Justice Makail upheld arguments raised by Twivey Lawyers, representing the National Executive Council and the State, that the appropriate mode of proceedings to challenge the dismissal was by way of a writ of summons or originating summons.
“In my view, to commence and proceed by way of judicial review is an abuse of process of the court,” Justice Makail said.
The court found that the decision to dismiss Kramer was appropriately made by O’Neill as a KPHL trustee as required by the Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited Authorisation Act 2015.
The reason given by the trustee to dismiss Kramer on March 28 was that he failed to fill many vacancies in the board.
Kramer denied the allegation and said he took steps to have the vacancies filled.
In his review, Kramer questioned the involvement of NEC because he said under the Act NEC had no role to play in the dismissal of a director or chairman of KPHL.
He said the trustee breached the Act and acted beyond its powers when it sought the approval of the NEC to endorse its decision to dismiss him.
The NEC and O’Neill, through their lawyers, argued that the decision to dismiss Kramer was not reviewable because it was made by the shareholder of a company incorporated under the Companies Act 1997, being KPHL.
They said the dispute regarding Kramer’s dismissal was of a private nature where judicial review and reinstatement were not applicable.


Hosting an APEC Meeting is a very Effective way to Promote Tourism & Culture

*** Regional APEC Meetings to Deliver Real Benefits Around the Nation ***

Tourism will generate thousands of jobs in the coming years, and the hosting of APEC events in growing tourism hubs will make an important contribution to this growing sector.

The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, was speaking with around two thousand PNC supporters in Kavieng when he assured them that their current local member’s threat to cancel the hosting of APEC next year is just hot air.

He said the election of Martin Aini as the PNC Candidate for Kavieng Open is the only way the district can advance with a dedicated elected leader who is committed to the interests of the district and the country.

“These claims by a single opposition member that he would cancel APEC cannot be taken seriously,” the Prime Minister said.

“I have already had to assure our APEC partner economies that he is just one opposition member from 111 in the Parliament, and has a record for making highly questionable statements just to get attention.

“If you ask almost any other member of the Parliament if they agree with Papua New Guinea hosting APEC in 2018, they would be supportive.

“The Kavieng Member’s threat to cancel APEC has also backfired because it would mean cancelling the APEC Tourism Minister’s meeting, part of which will take place in his district.

“The Member for Kavieng would take APEC away from his own electorate just political mischief.

“His four party members do not support him, and even the Opposition Leader is against such foolish tactics.

“Hosting an APEC meeting is a very effective way to promote tourism and culture in regional centres, as well as encourage skills transfer and local capacity development.”

The Prime Minister said people around the country are tired of candidates who are standing without any clear policies and who just want to run the country down.

“The only people who are knocking the economy are in the opposition.

“They have spent this whole campaign making false claims, talking the economy down, and never offering any real alternatives.

“The current Member for Kavieng has demonstrated that he is not in this election for his people, but for himself.

“That is another reason why the people of Kavieng need to elect an intelligent and balanced leader, and that is what you have in Martin Aini.

“Martin Aini is a leader who will work hard in his electorate and work in the interests of his people and the nation.”

The comments by the current Kavieng Member are at odds with his earlier statements where he embraced advancing national economic development through deepening engagements with APEC.

Prime Minister’s Office PNG June 1, 2017 at 5.41 pm

Chocolate brand supports farmers to boost quality

QUEEN Emma Chocolate, a subsidiary of Paradise Foods Limited, is supporting local cocoa farmers to look after their plots to produce quality cocoa, a company official says.
The official, general manager Karina Makori, was speaking during the Air Niugini Cocoa Warwagira last week in Kokopo.
She said cocoa has been around for so many years and the company which was established in 2012 added value to the commodity.
“We have now a value-added product and are not just exporting but we can have something from our own cocoa on our shelves that visitors can buy and take back into their countries.”
Makori said PNG has the standard to meet cocoa quality and there was demand for chocolate.
“Paradise Foods’ Queen Emma has made chocolate affordable for people today,” she said.
“We have been making commercial bars since Feb last year at the chocolate factory in Port Moresby.”
The chocolate company is  proud to be working with farmers from Bougainville, their biggest supplier, as well the Lower Watut Cooperative Society in Morobe, the Tree Kangaroo Foundation in Madang and growers from Milne Bay. Last week she encouraged farmers in East New Britain to also become suppliers.
“Our social responsibility to the people is through downstream processing of cocoa as the livelihood of many farmers in rural area depends on cocoa.”

O’Neill: While many Commodity-Exporting Countries have faced Similar Economic Decline, PNG has Been Able to Maintain Positive Growth

*** PM O’Neill Calls for Greater Intervention to Strengthen Papua New Guinea Industry ***

The Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has outlined a plan for greater government involvement in Papua New Guinea’s industrial development.

In a speech to the Australia Papua New Guinea Business Forum & Trade Expo in Port Moresby last week, O’Neill outlined how to broaden the industry base and move some industries up the value chain.

O’Neill told the forum that both PNG and Australia have experienced economic stresses because of adverse movements in commodity prices.

‘There is no doubt that the past few years have been challenging for both economies as we weather this,’ he said.

O’Neill claimed the PNG economy had performed well despite the downturn in commodity prices.

‘While many commodity-exporting countries have faced similar economic decline, PNG has been able to maintain positive growth. With the global economic downturn, we had to make some tough decisions.

‘Our economy is growing in a positive direction, inflation is manageable and our debt levels remain sustainable—it is well within the limits of 35 per cent of GDP.

In a positive signal to the resources industry, O’Neill added that the government will ‘deliver’ Total’s Papua LNG project, and the proposed Wafi-Golpu and Frieda River mines.

Value Chain

O’Neill said that the economic downturn contained some important lessons for the country. He outlined initiatives designed to move PNG up the value chain in select industries. One of those is fishing.

‘Our plan is to ensure that all the fish caught in Papua New Guinea is processed in Papua New Guinea. Or, at the very least, will be processed onshore.

‘I have instructed the National Fisheries Authority to cease the current practice of discounting the sale price of vessel leases.’ O’Neill claimed this could create 16,000 new jobs in regional centres.

Another industry O’Neill believes should be targeted is logging. ‘By 2020, there will be no more round log exports,’ he said. ‘We will work closely with companies already located in Papua New Guinea.’

O’Neill added that there is an opportunity to add value in the petrochemical industry.

Broadening the Base

O’Neill said there is also a need to broaden PNG’s economic base: ‘moving away from this boom and bust cycle’.

‘We must manage our economy so it can continue to resist such cycles. We can’t continue to rely heavily on the resources sector forever.’

O’Neill pointed to agriculture as a potential growth sector. ‘We have great potential with millions and millions of acres of fertile land. But we have never been able to utilize that well. Instead, we import food instead of growing it ourselves.’

O’Neill nominated rice, coffee and copra as export commodities with potential to grow. He said the challenge is to improve the supply chain by building infrastructure so the commodities ‘can make it to the markets, not only in Papua New Guinea alone.’


Another sector offering potential is tourism, according to O’Neill. ‘We are one of the most diverse and spectacular countries on Planet Earth.’

He said the strategy is to work with the regional governments to create tourism hubs to ‘enable large scale tourism’, and also establish more air links.

The main target market is Chinese tourists. ‘There are more than 100 million Chinese people who visit countries all throughout the world. All we want is a small fraction of that market.’

 2017 via EMTV News Online May 18, 2017

PNG’s WTO Representation


PAPUA New Guinea is amongst other Pacific Island countries excluding Fiji and Solomon Islands to have permanent representation in the World Trade Organisation.
This was revealed by the Secretary for Trade Commerce and Industry John Andrias yesterday.

Mr Andrias said however some are still in the process of establishing representation with the WTO.

He said PNG made a conscious decision to join the WTO and be part of the Multilateral Trading System (MTS) because it believes that the system provides security and stability in trade for all its members even more so for the smallest and most vulnerable economies.

“We believe the system was developed with the purpose of promoting prosperity for all its members,” he stated.

Therefore, Mr Andrias said Fiji and Solomon islands have a permanent representation in Geneva to help them so they have a mission.

PNG is represented from its Brussels mission and due to the distance they are not there on a day to day basis to attend to all the negotiations taking place in Geneva.

“We have done some submissions over the last three years, we have NEC endorsement but to date we are still looking at ways to get a mission established in Geneva because Geneva is a strategic location where you have the UN missions like WTO, ILO there so it will not be a mistake to have a permanent representation in Geneva where we will be able to safe guard our interests and also to look at ways to get more benefits and developments.

The rest of us who are members of WTO, rely on Pacific Islands Secretariat through Madam Mere Falemaka to represent us,” he said.

Mr Andrias said there is a small dedicated team in Geneva that monitors all the negotiations on all areas including export or fisheries subsidies issues which were not discussed or on the table over the last 16 years.

“So for us as a country and a region that that is dependent on fisheries, we are to ensure that there are proper rules and policies for us.

“Our interest is to be accommodated so we have to be in there to ensure that our interest in terms of policies and development aspirations are
all captured in the export subsidy rules that will be negotiated and accepted by all members once everyone agrees to it,” he said.

AUS and PNG strong investment partners


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.

aust pm

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.

Helping Papua New Guinea to take the sweet potato from garden market to supermarket

By Kallee Buchanan – Queensland Country Hour 

An Australian agronomist is helping farmers in Papua New Guinea transition from growing sweet potato to feed their families, to growing food to feed the nation.

CQUniversity professor of horticultural science Phil Brown has been investigating how to take the crop from garden market model to a complete integrated supply chain servicing supermarkets in the big cities.

He said sweet potato was the major energy source for most people in PNG.

“In a lot of countries around the world the cereal crops like wheat and rice are the major source of carbohydrates, in PNG it’s sweet potato,” he said.


“They have maybe up to 100 different varieties. It is their major food source, but it’s been used as a subsistence crop.

“The challenge we’re looking at is how do you convert that type of system to a more commercial system where people can make money from selling sweet potato.”

The researchers have introduced technology to enable the farmers to produce seedlings free of disease, thus increasing their productivity and allowing them to grow larger volumes of the vegetable.

“If we can produce material that is free from viruses, we can plant that material as a commercial crop.

“We’ll get higher yields and better looking sweet potato which then has a greater market appeal,” Professor Brown said.

“It will be an interesting transition to go from a subsistence system where they are just collecting cuttings from their own gardens … to actually purchasing good planting material, growing their crops and selling it into a marketplace.”

Population shift drives demand

The project, which is funded by the Australian Government through the Centre for International Agricultural Research and collaborates with the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, comes as the population in Papua New Guinea shifts from the traditionally agrarian highland areas to be more centralised in major cities.

“As population grows people are moving in to the urban centres so the potential market for sweet potato in the towns and cities is continuing to grow,” Professor Brown said.

“That’s a commercial opportunity that these small holder farmers in the highlands can take advantage of.”

New infrastructure had also encouraged growers to take part in the project, as development of roads and logistics opened up lucrative new markets in previously unreachable cities.

“The PNG government set up a highway, the Highlands Highway, from the coast all the way up to the highlands,” Professor Brown said.

“While the road’s pretty rough, it actually is a pathway where product from the highlands can make it down to the coastal city of Lae and then by boat through to Port Moresby.

“There’s now not an ideal supply chain but at least it’s possible to get product into the market.”

Working to empower women

Along with working with the farmers, who were predominantly men, Professor Brown said the project was also empowering women, who were the traditional sellers of the vegetables.

“Sweet potato production and marketing is a really good area where the women in PNG can have a major role in the decision making in the chain,” he said.


“In a culture like PNG the women often aren’t engaged in any of the key decision making and women’s lives are generally not as flash as the blokes over there.

“We’re very conscious of trying to support and empower women in the supply chains and the production systems so that we can benefit the whole family, the whole of the community.

“It’s not just a commercial focus where we try to help a few businessmen make more money.”

Bundaberg, where Professor Brown is based, is Australia’s largest sweet potato growing region which he said demonstrated how the project also played a critical role in helping Australian producers better understand of the pathogens and threats they might face.

“We’ve got an opportunity to survey for what viruses are present in the crops in PNG, and we can reasonably expect some of those viruses over time might make their way to Australia,” he said.

“We’ve also started to trial some new technology for virus detection in the field rather than having to collect samples and send them off to a laboratory.


“That technology can be used in Australia as well so when we’re doing our virus survey work in the field we’re going to be much better prepared to identify when something comes into the country or just to look at the ones we already know are here.”


Photos by Phil Brown, CQUniversity

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