Monthly Archives: March 2017

Private Sector Urged to be Responsible : Fleming

By: Post Courier 


PLANNING and focus from both private and public sectors is needed in these tough economic times, says Bank South Pacific chief execuitve officer Robin Fleming.
Mr Fleming in his presentation at the 2017 Leaders’ Summit in Port Moresby reaffirmed that the country’s economic performance was not as robust as previous years.
He said therefore everyone needs to take responsibility of their own businesses.

Robin Fleming – BSP Chief Executive Officer

He said PNG was a commodity-based country and like others was subject to commodity price fluctuations.

He said the alignment of the budget should be based on availability of revenue even if the government still has to maintain some form of expenditure to enable services delivery.
“We need to contextualise our economic outlook and economic outcome, understand how we perform in the context of our region.

“We cannot hide behind other markets.
“We have to be critical is assessing everything we do, a critical assessment is not a negative assessment a critical assessment needs to include positivity,” he said.

Mr Fleming said despite the downturn there were many positive signs in sectors all around PNG.
“Private sectors can’t always blame government.
“We have some responsibility for our own outcomes.

“There has not been any major change in the platform of government.
“All businesses knowing the economic activity will start to find in the PNG LNG has not been quite strong as it has.

“We are all responsible for the planning and focusing for our economic activity.
“Government will do what it can and private sector will have to do what it needs to do,” Mr Fleming said.

He said the issue of foreign exchange remains unchanged adding that with the closure of Ok Tedi Mine due to El Nino the country had lost US$300m which can’t be returned.

“With some proper planning and some cash flow management, understanding what the trade cycle is, understanding the terms of trade most businesses are able to get their payments made in a very small period.
Businesses should now have long term and medium term cycles to work alongside the government and understand opportunities which will present themselves in 2018 and 2019,” he said.


Australia confident of PNG’s Economy


AUSTRALIA maintains its confidence in the Papua New Guinea economy with renewed investment to strengthen economic ties despite the tough economic climate at present.
Australian High Commissioner Bruce Davis told yesterday’s leaders’ summit in Port Moresby about Canberra’s enduring ties which extend to the business front with strong economic two-way trade.
“Our deep enduring ties extend to business trade and investment, reflecting our strong economic partnership,” Mr Davis said.

Bruce Davis – Australian High Commissioner

“Two-way trade is worth around K14 billion with about 64 per cent of trade exported from Papua New Guinea to Australia.
“This wasn’t trade of just traditional commodities like gold and petroleum – Australia imported almost K100 million worth of coffee from your growers last year, 30 per cent increase from the year before.”
Mr Davis pointed out investments by Australian companies currently stand at around K45 billion in a diverse range of sectors from banking and finance, tourism and legal services, mining oil and gas and others.
He highlighted the importance of bilateral trade investment as a major reason to establish its consulate-general office in Lae.
“There is a market in Australia for cocoa and other agricultural products in Australia too. In fact one Australian iconic chocolate company sources a significant percentage of its cocoa from Papua New Guinea due to its very special and unique flavour.
“This reflects our continued confidence in the economic future of Papua New Guinea. We recognise that Lae is an important commercial hub of Papua New Guinea, home to your largest port, largest manufacturing, and the gateway connecting the islands and the highlands. It is also home to a specific number of Australian businesses.”
The high commissioner maintained the importance of ongoing dialogue to the partnership for both countries to take advantage of opportunities and challenges that the two face, with both being resource based economies having felt the brunt of the recent downturn in commodity.
He maintained the need to harness the Asia-Pacific markets which can be beneficial with less red tape to trade freely to grow small and medium sized businesses.

Lae City Dwellers aim to make OFC Club Champions semi-finals

by: OFC Website

With three teams still in the semi-final race, it could all come down to the last match between Auckland City and Malampa Revivors after Lae City Dwellers play Western United in the last day of action for Group C in the OFC Champions League at Mangere Centre Park on Saturday (local time).

Although their only hopes of progressing relies on Malampa Revivors defeating Auckland City in their 4pm fixture, both Western United and Lae City Dwellers will be determined to secure three points and score at least three goals when they play at 1pm, just in case the Vanuatu new-comers manage to take down the long-time regional heavyweights.

Lae City Dwellers coach Peter Gunemba isn’t holding his breath about the latter Group C fixture but believes the performance of his side in their past two games proved them worthy contenders in the competition and is feeling confident about collecting the three points on Saturday.

Lae CityDe

LCD needing a draw to get through

“Looking at it, I thought the boys could win this tournament but being put in the same group as Auckland City was going to make it hard,” he said.

“The first two games we were a bit rusty because we were not well-prepared but in the last game against Western we will try to play much better to at least win two games.

“The approach won’t be different, we will play the same game we’ve been playing.”

Western United coach Commins Menapi is also feeling confident ahead of their clash against Lae City Dwellers, but believes that team still has plenty of room for improvement if they want to dominate in their final group match.

“Looking at our last game, we missed a lot of chances, so we’ve gone back to the training field to work on that,” he said.

“It’s the last game and we’re going to go out there and give our best. I want to win our last game.”

Malampa Revivors are in full focus ahead of their final match against seven-time champions Auckland City FC and although their bid for the semi-final spot ended after their second loss on Wednesday, assistant coach Steven Ham is looking forward to seeing his team go shoulder-to-shoulder against some of the best players in the region.

“We are really happy to be able to play a match against our champion club and we will enjoy our game when we play Auckland City,” he said.

“We have prepared hard and I know we will put in a good game. We will try our best to have a good finish.”

Despite their comfortable three point lead on the table, Auckland City coach Ramon Tribulietx is not taking any chances as they prepare for another tough battle against Malampa Revivors.

“It’s another team that can do the unexpected,” he said.


Lae City Dweller’s Obert Bika

“The way they play individually is very skilful and very quick, similar to Lae City, so we understand how tough it is to play these teams. They can do things out of the blue and they can hurt you because they’ve got that individual skill.

“We need to make sure that we are tuned up for the game. It’s going to be another difficult battle against a team that’s going to run and run and run with a lot of intensity. We need to make sure we’re up for it.”

UK company to fund major cocoa farm


UNITED KINGDOM based global cocoa production company Beans & Co is eyeing Papua New Guinea as a lucrative cocoa producing destination.
Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry Richard Maru said the company will receive support from the UK government through the UK Import Export bank to invest US$70 million (K4.8m) in the development of a 2500 hectare cocoa plantation project in the Sepik Special Economic Zone (SSEZ).
This will be the biggest cocoa plantation in this country.
Mr Maru stated that after the conclusion of this loan deal and the National Executive Council’s approval of the project, the ministry is expecting Beans & Co to establish a base in the Sepik and will start a very big cocoa nursery or seed garden to supply cocoa seedlings not only to their own plantation but also to the East and West Sepik Provinces.
He explained that this cocoa company uses a new cocoa technology called the Griffin technology which they apply on the strictest environmental standards where they operate.
He said the same technology will be used in SSEZ which will be able to attract premium prices for cocoa that they will produce in the Sepik or between 20 per cent and 30 per cent more than what the others can offer for cocoa.
“If they bring new technology and operate, our farmers can also home sale their cocoa to this company.
“In the long term our plan is to develop a cocoa chocolate factory in the Sepik…we are looking to transform the industry in PNG.

“We are extremely excited and are very thankful to the Import Export bank of the UK for agreeing to lend this money so that this project can be developed in PNG,” he said.
However, the minister said that he understood that this will be the first loan that the UK Import Export Bank will fund an endeavor of the sort in PNG.
The minister emphasized that currently the country borrows from the Chinese EXIM Bank and are very keen as a government to diversify its source of funding and are now very keen on moving to the UK.
“This is a very new agricultural project and we hope that this will be the start of a new relationship with the Import Export Bank of the UK.
“We are looking forward to concluding the loan deal and NEC approving this project so that we can commence this major cocoa project in the Sepik plains as soon as possible,” he said.

PNG Government commits K300 Million to Star Mountain Plaza hotel

THE PNG Government has committed K300 million for the building of the five star hotel – Star Mountain Plaza at Hohola in Port Moresby.

Managing Director of Mineral Resource Development Company Augustine Mano confirmed this yesterday on a tour of the site.


Mr Mano said this is a milestone in itself as it is also the first time the government has partnered landowners in a major project as such.
“The State participation on this project shows a true partnership in every sense between the landowners and the government. We’ve had two NEC decisions, one in 2014 on the concept which the government had approved through the NEC and the second was in 2015 which is the project agreement,” Mr Mano said.
He revealed that the Government lived up to its commitment and has now committed K300 million for this project. “I want to thank you the government in having faith with the landowners to invest in such an iconic project like this,” Mr Mano said.
He said the project comprises two phases, the first of which will be completed two months before the APEC meeting in November 2018 while the second phase will continue thereafter.

The project is being constructed at a cost of K1.2 billion with landowners as major shareholders at 80% and the government with the remaining 20 percent.

He reiterated this was a first such collaboration between landowners and the State.

Meanwhile, project manager Brian Eldridge said stage one includes the Hilton hotel, convention center, combined facilities and car park while stage two will include Hilton residential tower with 200 apartments.

“The earthwork contract, negotiated with Vuksich and Borich (PNG) Ltd is delivered on budget including the car parks which has been completed and also on budget,” Mr Eldridge said.
He said 30,000 cubic meters of bulk earth works has also been completed and the hotel structure is complete.

Mr Eldridge said the convention center roofing laminate will commence on July 3 and will be completed by November 30 this year.

Post Courier Live

Virtual Reality Technology Used to Provide a Look Inside APEC Haus

****  Legacy of APEC Haus will be a Social Hub for Locals and Tourists **** 
The Prime Minister, Hon Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has used the latest in virtual reality computer technology to make a personal inspection of APEC Haus even before construction has began.
Visiting the Conrad Gargett architect’s office in Brisbane today, PM O’Neill used a VR headset that creates a computer-generated building around the user, so that it feels like they are inside the actual building.

The Prime Minister said the use of virtual reality technology provides an opportunity for not only the designers, but also the end-users, to go inside the building to get an accurate perspective on any changes that are required to the construction.
“Using the virtuality reality headset you are able to walk into a computer-generated version of the building that is all around you,” the Prime Minister said
“It is quite life-like and you can see exactly how the rooms and halls will be established, and how much space there is in the building.

“Through this VR equipment, you can tell straight away if changes need to be made.
“This will deliver cost savings because we can make the required changes today, not later when construction is already underway.
“Security officials can also use the VR equipment to plan high-level protection measures that will ensure the safety of Leaders and delegates.
“We would like to see more top-level information technology equipment used in Papua New Guinea as we plan future infrastructure developments around our country.”
Having attended six APEC Leaders’ Meetings, PM O’Neill is in a unique position to understand what is required to ensure the success of the Summit.
“We have to establish meeting spaces so that Leaders can advance the APEC policy agenda at Summit meetings, as well as have bilateral meetings between Leaders.
“The APEC agenda covers major sectors in our economy such as transportation, agriculture and mining, and will deliver real benefits for our people.”
The Prime Minister said construction cost estimates for APEC Haus are being finalised, which is being undertaken through a tax credit program with Oil Search Limited.
“We are building a very functional but unique conference centre, that will be cost-effective to build and will generate revenue after APEC.
“Current expectations are that after APEC, the building will host a museum, some retail space and cafes in addition to an upstairs function and conference space.
“We are already seeing families and joggers use the area around Ela Beach and Paga Hill for recreation.
“When these new developments are complete, we will see this area around APEC Haus becoming a major social hub for local residents and also for the increasing number of tourists who are coming to Papua New Guinea.

Mobile Phone Gambling Illegal

by: National Newspaper

GAMBLING services should not be offered on mobile networks, Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) commissioner and chief executive Paulus Ain, pictured, says.

He said offering of gambling services on mobile networks would require inter government agency cooperation to address this issue.

“The ICCC had previously looked into the issue of gambling services offered to customers through text messages”, Ain said.

He was responding to questions on the issue yesterday.

“For any gambling that should occur in any setting must be licensed by Gaming Control Board to do that.

“Several times we have handled this and said, look you (mobile network operator) are not entitled to do this.

Mobile Gambling

“You only should be providing call services or internet services and what is prescribed under your licence.

“This has gone into hibernation mode until it has just been raised it again which is good. We will look at it again.

“That was our stance in the past but it has just gone dead.”

ICCC special projects officer Jacqueline Waffi highlighted that there was a need to address this in collaboration the National Information and Communication Technology Authority that had the enforcement power to deal with this matter.

Meanwhile, commenting on ExxonMobil’s acquisition of InterOil, Ain said ExxonMobil “will sit down again and talk” with ICCC on competition concerns.

This followed the Supreme Court of Yukon’s recent ruling approving the acquisition.

Ain said this was prompted by the commissions’ intent to announce findings from its independent investigation on the merger while stating that public would be updated soon on this.

“I think the most latest one was that the managing director (ExxonMobil PNG) came over and brought us up to speed on where they are and I think the court gave them the clearance and they have proceeded through with the acquisition,” he said.

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