Category Archives: Regional

New Infrastructure Projects with China will Change Lives – Direct Investment by China Railway Group in PNG Economy

 

Media Statement via Prime Minister’s Office PNG

Monday, November 20, November 2017

The Government of Papua New Guinea has signed a serious of Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with the Government of China and the China Railway company that will deliver a number of new infrastructure projects in the Highlands.

 

Witnessing the signing of the MOU today in Port Moresby, the Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, said the new projects will have direct positive impacts on the lives of people in Eastern and Western Highlands provinces.

 

“These projects will enhance agriculture, roads and water supply in parts of the Highlands will improve lives and help people to be more active in the economy.

 

“China is one of our strongest development partners, and this direct investment is an example of the huge confidence that China and Chinese companies have in Papua New Guinea.

 

“Despite the challenges in the global economy in recent years, the outlook for the Papua New Guinea economy is very positive and we thank our partners for their commitment to our country.

 

“The projects that we initiated today will be delivered in some of the most remote parts of our country where there is a need to improve connectivity and services.

 

“These projects are taking place as part of the ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative that is creating more efficient trade corridors between the Asia-Pacific and Western Asia.

 

“As this initiative grows we are seeing infrastructure improvements across many developing countries.

 

“At the eastern end of the initiative, Papua New Guinea is deriving benefits that will strengthen capacity to trade across borders.”

 

The Prime Minister thanked the President of the China Railway International Group, Mr. Zhang Zongyan, for visiting Papua New Guinea to see for himself where support can be allocated.

 

“I thank the Government of China and the China Railway Company for their ongoing commitment to Papua New Guinea.

 

“The projects we have agreed on today will deliver positive change for people in many towns and villages.

 

“Your support for Papua New Guinea will be remembered long into the future.

 

“I look forward to further discussing these and other initiatives with President Xi Jinping when he arrives in Papua New Guinea for APEC next year.”

 

The three MOU’s signed today are:
– China-PNG Integrated Agriculture Industrial Park;
– The High Priority Economic Roads Project;
– Goroka Town Water Supply Upgrade Project.

 

The signing of MOU’s was witnessed by Prime Minister O’Neill, Works Minister, Michael Nali, and Lands minister, Benny Allen.

 

Photos:PM O’Neill meets with officials from China Railroad Group and Chinese Government before the signing the MOUs.

Attack on 6-Year-Old Girl by Pathetic and Perverted Individuals – Calls for Community and Church Action on False Belief ‘Sanguma

 

The Prime Minister Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has expressed outrage on behalf of the Nation after the serious abuse of a 6-year-old girl in Enga Province by adult males claiming sanguma as their excuse.

 

PM O’Neill said police had been dispatched to investigate the abuse, and any individual who tries to impede the lawful investigation will be arrested.

 

The Prime Minister said the attacks cannot be tolerated and the abusers must be exposed, and this requires leadership from community elders.

 

“Lets be clear, sanguma beliefs are absolute rubbish,” the Prime Minister said.

 

“In the modern day sanguma is not a real cultural practice, it is false belief and involves the violent abuse and torture of women and girls by pathetic and perverted individuals.

 

“The men behind these murders are cowards who are looking for someone to blame because of their own failure in life.

 

“These violent acts are against our values as a nation and are completely unacceptable.”

 

The Prime Minister said local communities hold the key to ending sanguma activities, but leaders must step up and be strong.

 

“In the case of the young girl who was recently attacked in Enga, we are grateful for the brave people who gave her first aid and took her to a safe location.

 

“The nation needs more of these unsung heroes who do the right thing, even when it means standing up against people in their own communities.

 

“At the same time, any community leaders who allow this abuse to continue are just as bad as the men who carry out the crimes.

 

“As a Christian Nation these abuses are also an attack on our religion, that goes against all the teachings of the Church.

 

“The Christian faith that we share teaches us to love one another and uphold the rights of the young and the weak.

 

“In Churches around our country, I call on Leaders to discuss this issued and how you would deal with this violence if it was tried in your communities.

 

“Our Government will keep working with Churches and communities, as well as the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, to end these false beliefs and to protect the lives of all Papua New Guineans. “

Qatar’s Broadening Economic Base Offers Opportunities for PNG

 

The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has concluded a series of high level meetings with Government Officials in the State of Qatar, from which he anticipates will come greater technical co-operation and investment from a country that has transitioned into the LNG market as is the current experience of Papua New Guinea.

 

Following meetings with Qatar’s Prime Minister, Finance Minister and other senior Government Officials, while on his return from the APEC Summit in Viet Nam, Prime Minister O’Neill said the key outcome of the visit is a further demonstration of the urgent need for Papua New Guinea to properly diversify the Nation’s economic base.

 

“We have been talking about diversifying our economy to maximise gains for some time, and now is the time to act so we can build our key sectors into the future,” the Prime Minister said at the meetings in Doha.

 

“There is great potential for creating thousands of new jobs, establishing new skills and stimulating small business.

 

“From humble beginnings, Qatar has diversified its economic base better than most resource-focused economies around the world.

 

“While oil and gas remain the cornerstone of its economy, Qatar has made inroads into downstream processing and other energy related fields.

 

“Qatar has also leveraged its resources boom to expand the tourism sector, and made substantial investment in agriculture around the world.

 

“The perspective from our engagement in Qatar is clear, that we have to not only get the most from expanding our LNG production, but we have to utilise these gains to diversify production and jobs in our economy.”

 

The Prime Minister said following the visit this week, a delegation from Kumul Consolidated Holdings, as well as other Government agencies and private sector representatives, will meet with officials in Qatar.

 

“The Qatar Prime Minister and I have agreed that we will bring together a joint forum to look at capacity building and investment opportunities between Papua New Guinea and Qatar.

 

“As an emerging economy, Papua New Guinea must take advantage of new opportunities to expand the economy. Importantly we must move beyond the boom-and-bust cycles that comes with dependency on global energy prices.

 

“In doing so we will draw on the experience and capacity building opportunities from countries like Qatar, and our other partners around the world.

 

“I look forward to tangible outcomes from the discussions that have taken place over the past two days, and delivering additional policy initiatives to work with the private sector.

 

“I thank the Prime Minister of Qatar, Ahmed Bin Jassim Bin Mohammed Al-Thani, for his invitation for Papua New Guinea to undertake an Official Visit to his country.”

 

Photo: Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, meeting with Qatar Prime Minister, Ahmed Bin Jassim Bin Mohammed Al-Thani, meeting in Doha on Tuesday.

-Press-

Improved road access for Buin

Source: Loop PNG

For the first time in many years, the small Buin town area will see a boost in access through roads. This follows a recent upgrade made possible by the Papua New Guinea – Australia partnership.

 

Members of a community in Buin, including school children, were present on Wednesday to celebrate the completion of the major project to seal the main town roads in Buin, laying the foundation for greater development in the South Bougainville region.

 

The K11.5 million project to upgrade Buin’s town roads was completed ahead of schedule and within budget.

 

The newly-sealed roads are engineered to take account of the heavy rainfall in the region and will provide a great boost to the local economy.

 

Member for South Bougainville Timothy Masiu, while acknowledging the initiative, said the local Buin community is already benefiting from the project.

 

He added that these new roads and improved drainage have given a tangible lift to the town and will help to drive economic and social development in Southern Bougainville.

 

For the first time, the health centre has safe and reliable access for residents. The road that passes the Buin Secondary School now has a pedestrian crossing as part of critical road safety improvements.

 

The long-standing partnership with Australia has delivered several major projects recently, including the resealing of the road from Arawa to Kieta Port and the resealing of Arawa’s town roads.

 

Australian High Commission Minister Counsellor, Rod Hilton, said the developments in Buin demonstrate Australia’s strong commitment to the transport sector in Bougainville.

 

“Connecting communities and businesses through safer, more reliable roads is crucial for Buin and the whole region. Quality roads are a real catalyst for growth and central to our partnership.”

(Buin Town roads)

Author: Imelda Wavik

Government Aims To Strengthen Partnership

 

Source: Post-Courier

BY ZEBEDEE GIAME

Papua New Guinea is working towards integrating the efforts of developmental partners into the planning spectrum, says Minister for National Planning and Monitoring Richard Maru.

 
He said the national government is committed to strengthening existing development partnerships that are in line with the government’s plans and development strategies.
“We are stepping to a more coordinated and strategic partnership with development partners,” Mr Maru said.

 
He said growing the economy is the government’s focus in the medium term, thus all elements of development needed to be steered towards the venture.

 
Mr Maru said as part of planning towards this government focus, maintenance of roads is critical to achieving the economic growth agenda of the government.

 
Works Minister Michael Nali said the major focus of the government is implementing a well structured maintenance program to ensure the current 4000 km of national roads are in good condition and do not deteriorate quickly.

 
He said the maintenance backlog over the years requires K3b to clear out and also build new highways and missing road links.

 
Works is working to upgrade another 1000 km of national roads.

New International Highway Connecting Jayapura Declared

 
 
 
October 31, 2017
Source: Post-Courier BY JEFFREY ELAPA
 
Ministers for Works Michael Nali has declared the coastal highway from Wutung in West Sepik to Madang through Wewak as an international highway connecting Jayapura in Indonesia.
 
Mr Nali and Secretary for Works David Wereh arrived in Wewak yesterday for a road infrastructure inspection visit of East Sepik and West Sepik provinces.
 
His declaration of the international highway was made during a meeting with East Sepik Governor Allan Bird, Inter Government Relations Minister Kevin Isifu and West Sepik Governor Tony Wouwou and East Sepik provincial government assembly members.
 
He said the coastal highway will now be called an international one because the road links West Papua.
 
He said the Government is committed to link the people with the international highway because there are more business to be done next door with neighbors in West Papua.
 
He said besides doing business, West Papuan friends need to learn a lot from PNG as well.
 
Mr Nali said to have two countries contacted by road can strengthen the relationship including business.
 
Mr Nali and Mr Wereh will be joined by Governor Wouwou to visit the Wewak to Aitape road and fly over to Vanimo for the same purpose.
 
They visited the Hagen-Madang highway and then the Madang-Wewak missing link that will be part of the international highway.
 
They also visited the Angoram highway which will have the biggest oil palm mill and biggest ply wood mill in the region and later visit Wewak town roads.

Abel Briefs World Bank and IMF on Next Moves to Advance PNG’s Submarine Internet Cable and Discussed Concessional Funding for Restructuring Debt

 

22 October 2017
Source: Office Of The Prime Minister

Engagement with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, that will stimulate positive economic development in the face of global challenges, has been advanced at meetings in Washington D.C. by the Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Hon. Charles Abel MP.

 

Deputy Prime Minister Abel said the new submarine fibre optic communications cable project, that will deliver cheaper and faster Internet, and the provision of concessional financing for the restructuring of existing debt, will deliver positive economy stimulus for the economy.

 

“Papua New Guinea has a close working relationship with the World Bank and IMF, and the benefits of this engagement will become even more obvious to our people with the delivery of cheaper and faster Internet.

 

“Working with the World Bank, and also our partners in Australia, the new submarine communications cable will deliver greater Internet access for Papua New Guineans.

 

“The new communications cable will make the Internet we received on our computers and smart phones much faster, and with the increased supply we will see Internet data prices fall.

 

“Increased access to the Internet is essential if we are to advance Papua New Guinea’s economy and improve service delivery.

 

“The submarine cable has been the subject of much discussion in recent years, and now we are moving ahead so that it will be in place ahead of the APEC Summit.

 

“The time given to our country by the World Bank and IMF executive for meetings in Washington was tremendous.

 

“I took the opportunity to remind them of the particular circumstances of Papua New Guinea and the Pacific small island states.

 

“I said PNG has globally significant natural assets to build a new, responsible, sustainable economy that brings inclusive development to its people but also can support climate change mitigation globally.

 

“We are confronted with our immediate development challenges and are also on the frontline of the effects of climate change.”

 

The Deputy Prime Minister said discussions with the World Bank on restructuring existing debt with concessional funding will further simplify debt that has been established over recent decades, and reduce servicing costs.

 

“Papua New Guinea has never defaulted on a debt payment, and this is respected by global institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

 

“We are in talks with the World Bank and IMF so that we can bring together a number of scattered debts and consolidate these under a single debt facility at a much more favourable interest rate.

 

“Debt consolidation will save public funds and retire outstanding loans quicker than had previously been possible.”

 

Deputy Prime Minister Abel was accompanied by Treasury Secretary, Dairi Vele, and the Governor for the Bank of Papua New Guinea, Loi Bakani.

 

As well as the main Plenary Sessions of the World Bank Meeting, the DPM participated on 3 panels, including a panel with the World Bank CEO, and the Finance Ministers for Indonesia and Serbia, on Asia and the Growing Middle Class and Inclusive Development.

 

The DPM also had 15 meetings including separate meetings with CEO of the World Bank, Kristalina Gregorieva, Asia Pacific Director, Victoria Kwakwa, and Australian Treasurer, Scott Morrison.

30 Million Hectares Intact: Tomuriesa

 

 

BY MATTHEW VARI of Post-Courier

PAPUA New Guinea currently has 30 million hectares of untouched pristine rainforest cover in the country.

This does not include an additional six million hectares currently subjected to human activities.

Minister for Forests, Douglas Tomuriesa announced the figures for the country’s forest inventory at the launch of the country’s National REDD+ Strategy (NRS) 2017-2027.

“I am pleased to inform the gathering today that about 75 per cent or 30 million hectares of our forest are still intact with very little or no human disturbances,” he said.

He said maintenance of natural resources should be recognised by the global community, and the priority of government rests with the wellbeing of the people, who own almost all the forests.

“The international community has time to involve Papua New Guinea and is able to talk with us about elements of REDD+ because of the abundance and quality of our forests.”

“We are thankful that out of these efforts and outcomes of performance-based approaches in the NRS, PNG will qualify for the revenue flows from the international climate change funds.”

“Of the 46 million hectares that constitute the total landmass of PNG, 36 million hectares, or 78 per cent, is under forest cover,” he said.

He said the country is aware of its global responsibility to protect the biodiversity of its natural forests, but other countries take on the approach.

“Our forests are critical to our development from biodiversity as well as from our source of economy perspective.”

“In PNG, forests are essential to our environment, our economy, and our society.”

Annually, the forest sector contributes significantly to the country’s GDP, and government revenues, and is a source for forest resource owners who constitute 85 per cent of the population in the rural areas.

The minister pointed out the main group in the country that needs convincing to maintain forests remains, are the landowners.

Proposed policy to declare revenue

Source: Loop PNG

9th October 2017.

 

The Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management (DMPGH) says it is working to introduce a policy for stakeholders in the mining industry to declare any revenue received or made from mining projects.

 

Secretary Harry Kore told Loop PNG that the policy idea came about during consultations for the Revised Mining Act.

 

He said while there are reports of mining revenue generated, a lot of locals impacted by mining activities claim to not see any tangible results.

 

Kore said the policy will ensure stakeholders such as provincial governments, authorities such as the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA), Mineral Resources Development Cooperation (MRDC), as well as landowner association chairmen and landowner company CEOs declare revenue received for the benefit of all.

 

“You fail to do that and you will be held accountable and you will be penalised under the law. So it becomes a practise. Every quarter they just declare their interest. We know that so much money goes to our landowners but whether it trickles down to the peoples is another thing,” said Kore.

 

The policy idea is similar to a draft legislation currently being drawn up by the PNG Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative to make mandatory all revenue from the mineral, petroleum and gas sectors to be fully disclosed as per good governance standards.

 

Kore said they are yet to have formal discussions regarding the policy idea however, there is cooperation and the policy complements that of the work the EITI is undertaking.

 

Secretary Kore added that one of the agendas of the policy is to ensure there is sustainability in how revenue is invested back in the country.

Announcements On SABL To Be Made This Week

 

 

BY MATTHEW VARI of Post-Courier

A major announcement will be made this week on special agricultural and business lease (SABL), says Lands and Physical Planning Minister, Justin Tkatchenko.

 

These leases have been the subject of much debate both within and abroad in addressing the issues of illegally acquired land leases under the guise of the lease arrangement.

 

Mr Tkatchenko said since his appointment to the ministry, he has ensured that a high-level committee dealt with all the leases.

 

“As you know, we have set up the committee to go through every SABL file and the decision from the commission of inquiry.”

 

“With that, I will be making some very strong and firm and positive decisions on the leases that have already been investigated by the committee,” he said.

 

“There are some serious matters from these SABLs that have come up and the country will be very happy because we have had enough.”

 

He said there has been stealing of public, customary, and other land, where no consultations had ever been done, but his ministry would get to the bottom of the issues before the New Year.

 

“To all the customary landowners, the ILGs, bear with me. We are going to make sure that before the end of this year that most of these issues are resolved.”

 

Tkatchenko assured the landowners that the committee in place is a serious one that sits every week to deliberate.

 

“The committee is not just a giaman (fake) committee set up just to make us look good. They have to work and get outcomes that pleases the situation at hand.”

 

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill announced in November last year Cabinet’s decision to revoke all SABL titles.

 

Despite the decision, concerns were raised on the slow response of the department responsible in carrying out the revocation process.

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