Category Archives: Trade

APEC Meet To Boost Local Businesses

Source: Post-Courier

 

BY MATTHEW VARI

The APEC summit this year is expected to boost the country’s economy through direct spending anticipated at K200 million by more than 15,000 international delegates.

 
This is according to APEC PNG 2018 Co-ordination Authority CEO, Christopher Hawkins on the gain for local businesses during the summit this year.

 
“There is a few different areas for business, one is throughout the year with more than fifteen to eighteen thousand delegates coming, and that is not just the people attending the meetings, but those who arrange for their delegations and ministers and leaders, we estimate there will be a cash injection of around K200 million straight through that,” Mr Hawkins said.

 
He said the estimate covers airfares, accommodation, setting-up temporary offices for delegates to support their ministers, presidents and prime ministers.

 
Mr Hawkins said the spending indicated in the 2018 Budget appropriation of K300 million will also be spent in the local economy, with a major portion also focused on security preparations for that budget.

 
“Then there is the direct spending. We break that into consumables for the meetings that includes booking venues for meetings, the papers used to the signage to bottle of water to the transportation around the city.

 
“That comes out of the APEC budget this year, but don’t forget the big part of the APEC budget is security. That is investing in capacity we should have been advancing many years ago and now our government is in preparation for APEC investing in that capacity.”

 
Mr Hawkins said progress into the year will see more and more tender opportunities posted on the APEC tenders website.

 
“Areas like production of shirts hospitality and catering. We engaged a lot last year that went up on the APEC tenders website.”

Airline hails increase in transport subsidies

ONE proposed Government action that should clearly benefit PNG Air is the proposal to increase subsidies for the transport of perishable agricultural products in the country, says chairman Murray Woo.

 
He said this was a sensible economic policy, promoting growth in the agricultural sector, and potentially leading to export markets as well as some import substitution.

 
“It fits particularly well with PNG Air’s decision to convert one of its Dash 8 aircraft to a freighter configuration,” Woo said. “Increased vegetable carriage would provide a steady revenue stream from this aircraft, importantly on flights into Port Moresby.

 
“The aircraft is also able to carry relatively large one-off loads by charter, and to make other regular cargo runs.

 
“The board has not been content to rely on re-fleeting and an upturn in the PNG economy alone to improve the company’s performance.”

 
He said Nasfund, as one of the airline’s major shareholders, had commissioned a report on the company’s business and strategy from the major aviation consultants Aviado.
“The board looks forward to seeing what they may recommend,” he said.

 
“The company has also been the subject of a report from board and governance consultants appointed by the Bank of PNG to look at the board functioning and corporate governance of all companies in which superannuation companies such as Nasfund have substantial holdings, and some recommendations from those consultants to further improve the company’s governance are being implemented.

 
“While there are these positives, certain challenges remained in 2017 due in particular to the weak economic conditions and deteriorating exchange rates.

 
“The falling world commodity prices of the past four years have seen exploration activity remain low and as a result the charter business was flat.”

 

Source: The National

Bank PNG signs card deal with Swiss company

THE Bank of Papua New Guinea has signed a contract with the Swiss company BPC Banking Technologies for the supply and installation of a national card and mobile payments switch.

 
It is the first step towards implementing the Retail Electronic Payments System (REPS), an initiative launched by the bank in 2015, as the next phase in the development of the National Payment System and its drive for financial inclusion in PNG.

 
REPS followed the successful implementation of the KATS inter-bank electronic payment system which began in February 2015.

 
BPNG said KATS hads shortened cheque-clearance times and provided electronic direct credits between PNG bank accounts.

 
“By enabling full electronic payments, KATS greatly improved financial services offered by banks to their customers.

 
“It provided the PNG economy with a secure, efficient and reliable domestic payment system and set, a solid foundation for future innovation in payments technology, including growth opportunities for Fintech digital financial services.

 
“REPS will allow microfinance companies and microbanks, Savings and Loans Societies and other smaller financial institutions entry into the NPS to offer plastic card and mobile payment services to their customers, so that more people and businesses will have access to financial services throughout PNG, particularly among the rural areas.”

Source: The National

Boroko Market Safer Than Gordon

Central Vendors At The New Boroko Market Only Have Words Of Praise For The Security Personnel Who Have Been Doing A Tremendous Job Keeping The Vendors Safe Inside And Outside The Vicinity Of The Market.

 

10:00am 


BY YOMBI KEP 

 

Central vendors at the new Boroko market only have words of praise for the security personnel who have been doing a tremendous job keeping the vendors safe inside and outside the vicinity of the market.

 

“Boroko Market is the best, security wise,” said a spokesperson of the Central Market Vendors during a Wholesale Vendors in NCD and Central Province consultative meeting with NCDC to discuss relevant issues.

 

“We were victims at Gordon market, our female folks were the  main victims but here they can trade without fear.”

 

The infamous Gordon market which is known for the notorious activities from bag snatching to hold ups was closed for renovation forcing vendors, including the Central Vendors who bring bags of fresh food to sell to the retailers to be relocated with other vendors to the Boroko market.

 

Meanwhile, Fletcher Morobe has been engaged as the design and build contractor of the project which will see the construction of a two-storey structure to cater for more than 1500 registered vendors. The K30 million redevelopment will also include cafes and kiosks, spacious parking area, food court, play ground, a space for informal vendors, landscaping of and a one-way traffic system.

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Pato pushing for end to illegal fishing

Moves to eliminate illegal fishing near Papua New Guinea and in the wider Pacific are high on the agenda for PNG at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) meeting in Argentina this week.
During a session on illegal fishing, Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Rimbink Pato delivered a keynote contribution in support of trade rules requiring the abolition of subsidies given by certain major economies to their fishing industries.
Pato along with Commerce and Industry Minister Wera Mori are representing PNG at the ministerial meeting in Buenos Aires.
Referring to illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, Pato said: “We know from experience that fishing subsidies by big economies are detrimental to smaller-scale fishing industries in PNG and other Pacific countries.
“These subsidies also contribute to over-fishing that threatens the very existence of the fish stocks which are vital to feed the world and to our economy.”
Pato told a meeting attended by representatives of most countries in the world that PNG, as the biggest Pacific Islands nation, strongly supported moves by the Pacific Islands Forum states aimed at eliminating illegal fishing from the Pacific and other oceans.
“Further discussions are being held at the WTO meeting on key proposals associated with the elimination of subsidies,” Pato said. “Mori and I are also working to ensure that rules relating to agriculture and the digital economy are suitable to WTO moves to establish a free and fair trading world.”

Source: The National

National Agriculture Summit Underway

The Inaugural National Agriculture Summit commenced on Monday.

Prime Minister, Peter O’Neil, opened the summit to indicate his Government’s commitment to really improve the sector.

 

The Summit was also attended by Government Ministers and Parliamentary Leaders.

 

In his Opening Remarks, Agriculture Minister, Benny Allan, said this summit gives the opportunity for the private investors both large and small to talk, and the Government to listen.

 

He said the Government has come up with policies for the Agriculture Sector, but has not sat down with the players to listen to them.

 

Referring to the theme of the Agriculture Summit of “Unlocking the Power of Agriculture for PNG”, Prime Minister, Peter O’Neil, reiterated its importance and reaffirms his government’s commitment in the sector as captured in the Alotau Accord.

 

“We’ve seen PNG’s Economy go into vast cycles for quite a while, largely because we over depend ourselves on one sector of the Economy (resources). And it has serve PNG well, but I think we’re too complaisant and we are not realising all the other potentials that we have in our country. Especially, when all the Commodity Prices of Oil and Gas goes down, our economy goes down.”

 

Representatives from all sectors of Agriculture packed the Lamana Conference Room to be part of this first ever organised National Agriculture Summit.

 

Presentations are based on each Agricultural Business and investment and the challenges they face including solutions to assist the Government improve the sector.

 

The conclusion of the summit will assist the Government through the Department of Agriculture, come up with a Medium Term Agriculture Development Plan.

 

The Summit will continue today(Monday) and will end on Wednesday afternoon.

 

Author: Charmaine Poriambep of Loop PNG

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.

PNG’s Self-Sufficiency Drive Offers Openings For Agri-Industry

 
 
 
October 31, 2017
Via: Post-Courier
 
 
After being returned to office following the National Elections in Papua New Guinea earlier this year, the government of Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has stepped up its drive to improve food sustainability and reduce foreign exchange outflows.
 
The administration’s focus on import replacement and food self-sufficiency should create opportunities for the food processing industry, in particular, encouraging investment in downstream capacity.
 
The government plans to place investment funds, to be dispersed through the Supplementary Budget, with the state-owned agriculture investment company, Kumul Agriculture, which can then partner with local and international investors.
Richard Maru, Minister for National Planning and Monitoring, told local media in September that the entity is soon expected to start receiving funds to invest in the sector.
 
According to local media, the plan to establish a state-owned investment vehicle for agriculture was first mentioned in 2015.
 
Government to mobilise investment funds, target agriculture. In particular, the government is looking to curb the island nation’s sizeable food import bill – reported to be as high as PGK4bn ($1.3bn) per year – by expanding the agriculture sector.
While PNG is self-sufficient in many fresh or semi-processed foodstuffs – rice being the key exception – it has to import much of its processed food, both for human consumption and livestock feed.
Speaking to local media at the end of August, Charles Abel, DeputyPrime Minister and Treasurer, said that the rice import bill was the second-highest consumer of foreign exchange in PNG, after the fuel import bill.
Loi Bakani, governor of the Bank of PNG, also highlighted import costs as being a top concern.
“In particular, I am concerned about food imports, because it constitutes the highest demand for foreign exchange and it is not matched by any foreign exchange revenue from food exports,” he told an investment conference in Sydney, Australia, in mid-September.
 
Courting downstream agriculture investment to generate export potential
In addition to boosting primary production, PNG is seeking investors in downstream value-added processing, which could create export potential.
Palm oil and coffee, among others, have been cited as examples, with processed goods both easier to freight than fresh, and able to generate far higher returns.
“We have water and very fertile land,” Mr Maru told local media in mid-September.
“What we have to do now is to mobilise the land, and then find investors who have the technology and the capital to partner (with) us to start investment in commercial agriculture in a very significant way.”
 
Recent investment in value-added growth areas. The agro-processing industry is already seeing an increase in investments that should help reduce the food import bill and improve sustainability.
Agri-business firm, Innovative Agro Industries, is currently developing a K130m ($40.6m) dairy farm and processing facility outside Port Moresby, with production set to begin in November. When fully operational next year, the 5m-litre annual output from the plant is expected to cut up to K400m ($124.7m), or 10%, from PNG’s import bill.
An even larger investment is taking shape in West Sepik Province, around 30km from the Indonesian border. Chinese investors signed a memorandum of understanding last December with the PNG Government to develop a $3.8bn industrial park. Along with an industrial hub for processing steel and cement, the project – described as a long-term venture – features a processing cluster focused on fish, cassava, tropical spices and timber.
Fish is an area where PNG has significant potential for value-added processing. The country’s 2.5m-sq-km exclusive economic zone is home to roughly 18% of the global tuna supply, according to a 2013 report by Pacific Tuna Forum, and an estimated 750,000 tons of the fish is caught each year in PNG waters.
While this represents a raw value of around $1.5bn, most of the value creation occurs during processing, which takes place offshore. Countries such as the Philippines and China generated an estimated K30bn ($9.4bn) in added value by processing raw tuna exports from PNG, the Manufacturers Council of PNG reported.
 
Agro-processing agenda part of broader bid to industrialise
Promoting value-added agriculture forms part of a broader national effort to increase industrial capacity in PNG.
Speaking at a recent conference on financial inclusion and innovation, Wera Mori, the Minister of Commerce and Industry, said the government aimed to restructure the economy so that 70% of gross domestic product (GDP) was generated by sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, fisheries and forestry, with the latter three all having strong downstream potential.
To help achieve this goal, Mr Mori said the government would move to improve access to credit, introduce regulatory and supervisory reforms, and further promote micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises.

Works Minister: Opening of Missing Road Links, Government’s Priority

Source: EmTV Online

Tucked under rugged ranges between Gulf and Eastern Highlands is Menyamya, one of the least developed districts in the country.

 

 

However, this under developed district is rich with fertile soil renowned for producing one of the country’s best organic coffee.

 

 

“We produce some the best organic coffee in the country, but we don’t have roads to transport them to nearest markets in Lae or Goroka,” a local said.

 

 

Like many isolated rural communities, road access remains a barrier to development and for Menyamya, it has been a barrier for their economic progress and access to basic services.

 

 

In the last 5 years the O’Neill-led Government has prioritised the opening of missing road links.

 

 

On Tuesday, Works Minister, Michael Nali, told the people of Menyamya that the Government will allocate funding from a K3 billion Asian Development Bank loan in order to open missing links in the district.

 

 

“There are many road links in the district, once we open the trans-highway between Gulf and Morobe, Menyamya will be open to the rest of the country as well,” Minister Nali said.

 

 

The K3 billion funding from ADB will be put to reconstruct the entire Highlands Highway, Nadzab to Kagamuga Airport in Mt Hagen.

 

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