Category Archives: Trade

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


State Visit will Provide the Basis for Deepening Relations between Papua New Guinea and China

**** China’s President to be Invited for State Visit to Papua New Guinea ****

The President of China, H.E. Xi Jinping, will be invited to attend an Official State visit to Papua New Guinea when he attends the APEC Summit in November 2018.

The matter was raised during a meeting held by Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, with China’s new Ambassador, H.E. Xue Bing, in Port Moresby this week.

The Prime Minister said relations between Papua New Guinea and China are built on strong historical foundations and the State Visit will provide the basis for deepening this engagement.

“President Xi Jinping was one of the first Leaders to accept our invitation to attend the APEC Leaders’ Summit, and now we would like to extend our welcome through a State Visit at the same time.

“This will provide greater opportunity to advance direct bilateral engagement and investment, and for President Xi to see first-hand the development co-operation between our countries.

“China is a foundation customer for Papua New Guinea’s LNG exports, and the volume of trade and commercial relations in other areas continues to grow.

Papua New Guinea also appreciates China’s support in advancing education in our country.

“Our country is committed to a One China Policy, and this provides a basis for the strengthening of engagement and co-operation.”

PM O’Neill said China and Papua New Guinea will further continue working together in other global forums.

“Our countries have shared interests in many of the major challenges facing the world today.

“On climate change, we have a common desire to deal with this problem and co-operate in international forums to bring about global action.

“Papua New Guinea also shares similar views to China in relation to United Nations reform, in that the current UN model must evolve with the needs of the global community.

“The UN must be relevant to all members.”

PM O’Neill said the strengthening of people-to-people engagement is vital to growing the relationship.

“While Papua New Guinea and China formalised bilateral relations in 1976, our two Nations have long historical links through trade.

“For more than 200 years, Chinese people have come to our country and been involved in business.

“In the coming years we will continue to deepen this interaction between our countries with the establishment of direct flights between Port Moresby and Shanghai.

“This increased ease of travel will provide a further gateway to expand business and tourism, and also to establish more student exchanges.”

H.E. Xue Bing, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, has previously served in diplomatic postings in Canada, Australia, Kenya, United States, New Zealand and Fiji.

Public Warned On Circulation Of Old Bank Notes

THE Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG) has strongly warned that K160 million in paper money it had designated to be destroyed had been hijacked, and some of it have found their way back to the country.
The bank said of the total amount, only K1 million has been recouped and now held in custody to be destroyed, while intense investigations are being carried out on the whereabouts of the rest.
The bank is also cautioning the public not be fooled by these old notes, which are illegal and cannot be used for business transactions.
With the national election in process and with large sums of cash in circulation, BPNG has urged members of the public to be wary and to report any sightings of these notes.
BPNG governor Loi Bakani said the demonitisation exercise had been undertaken by the Central bank to replace the paper money with the polymer or plastic notes.
Mr Bakani said the paper notes in denominations of K2, K5, K10, K20, K50 and K100 were sold to a recycling company in Europe in 2013.
They were loaded in a container for shipment to Europe but the container was hijacked.
He said the bank had yet to establish how this had happened.
“The border authority reported this was fake money that had come in from Indonesia. This is part of it. We have visited the boarder and we are also working with the banks and authorities on the Indonesian side on how best we can address this issue and get the money out of there.
“The unfortunate thing though is that some of it, mostly K20 and K100 are finding their way back into the country and people may think the polymer notes are fake money and won’t accept it. That is why awareness is vital.
“Because the paper money has been demonitised, it has no value and is not recognised as legal tender,” the governor said.
“The public is advised to check the serial numbers at the bottom of the bank notes. If you are receiving or are holding onto any of these paper notes with serial numbers that fall within the range of the serial numbers indicated, reject them outright.”
The serial numbers which will be published are as follows:
n K2, with a prefix’ of ABJ-AJS with numbers of a low 000001 and high of 003000;
n K10, with a prefix’ of AC-AY with numbers of a low 030000 and high 031000;
n K10, with a prefix’ of NBP-NES and numbers with a low 160000 and high of 173000;
n K20, with a prefix’ of BPNG with numbers with a low 0000001 and high of 3000000;
n K50, with a prefix’ of HTT-HUU with numbers with a low 080000 and a high of 090000; and
n K100, with a prefix of BPNG, with numbers of a low 0000001 and high of 6000000.
The governor said the demonitisation exercise had run for four years and those holding onto old notes had enough time to exchange them for polymer notes.
The time had lapsed and the bank would not be doing any exchanges because they are no longer legal tender.

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.

Opening Statement by Prime Minister O’Neill, Joint Press Conference Hon. Peter O’Neill MP, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, and Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, Prime Minister of Australia 18th April 2018

Members of the Press
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you very much for joining us here this afternoon.

Firstly, let me extend our appreciation to the Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull for his first official visit, in his capacity as Prime Minister, to Papua New Guinea on this occasion.

But also, let me take this opportunity to extend out sympathies, to many of the victims of the recent cyclone Debbie in Australia, especially our neighbours in far North Queensland.

Papua New Guinea understands the suffering that they are going through. We have similar experiences here by many cyclones that we continue to experience in our country.

Today, Prime Minister Turnbull and I discussed many issues that affect our two countries. The Bilateral relationship between our two countries is very strong and continues to strengthen each year.

We have discussed a number of issues, including of course, the Manus Regional Processing Centre, and the ongoing work that is going on at the centre in order for us to have a closure in accordance with the decision that was handed down by the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea.

Work is progressing quite well. The Processing of the refugees are going on quite well and we appreciate the continued support of the Australian Government in managing the facility.

Of course we spoke about on-going trade and investment issues between our two countries. Australia is by far the largest investor in Papua New Guinea and as such we understand the role that they play in continuing in strengthening the investment confidence that Papua New Guinea continues to enjoy.

Our economy has been doing quite well over the last fifteen years, except of course for the commodity prices affecting our revenues for the last couple of years. Other than that, the economy continues to grow, well above global standards. And I think that we continue to encourage more and more investments from Australia and businesses that are doing business in Papua New Guinea.

We also extend our appreciation to the Australian Government, especially the DFAT for support on many programs that they have in the country.

These are in education, in healthcare, supporting our defence force and the law and justice sector, and many infrastructure projects that they continue to help us build in many sectors.

Today, we also spoke about APEC, which Papua New Guinea will be hosting in 2018.
We thank the Australian Government for its support in the area of security.

Together we will ensure that leaders who are going to come and visit for APEC are safe a comfortable.

Papua New Guinea is a safe destination and I know that all the leaders will enjoy their stay here with us.

A range of meetings relating to APEC have already taken place in our country, and close to 200 meetings will be conducted in Papua New Guinea before the leaders meeting in November 2018.

Policy development preparation are going very well, and again we appreciate the support of the 21 economies that are actively participating in these discussions.

Papua New Guinea is going to elections in a few weeks time, writs will be issued on April 20th, and the Australian Government is supporting us in logistics and capacity building within the Electoral Commission.

They will be also participating as international observers in our election process throughout many parts of our country.

Our aim is to try and deliver a free and fair election according to the people’s will.

Certainly, the support that has been extended to us by the Australian Government is moving us towards achieving that goal.

So once again, Prime Minister, thank you very much for visiting Papua New Guinea on this occasion. I hope you have a pleasant stay and we look forward to seeing you again here in 2018.

Thank you.

Prime Minister’s Office PNG April 9 , 2017 4.51 pm

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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