Author Archives: PNG Daily Updates

PM O’Neill Arrives in Vietnam for APEC Summit

**** – Key Focus is on Enhancing Growth in Developing Economies ****

Apec - vietname2

The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has arrived in the city of Da Nang, in Viet Nam, for the 2017 APEC Leaders’ Summit.
On his arrival, the Prime Minister highlighted the importance of the APEC policy agenda that will help boost growth in key sectors of the Papua New Guinea economy.
“APEC is an important forum for growth and development in our region, and in the coming year will be even more important for Papua New Guinea when we host Leaders from around the region.
“The whole focus of the APEC Leaders’ Week is to strengthen our capacity to trade and to grow our economies.
“Through APEC we have the opportunity to generate more business, and that in turn creates more jobs.
“As a developing economy in APEC, Papua New Guinea also has the opportunity to strengthen capacity and skills in key sectors around the country.
“APEC is more than a single meeting each year, but it has a broad agenda covering agriculture, fisheries, women in the economy, transport and many other sectors that are vital for Papua New Guinea’s growth.
“Ultimately our work through APEC in these sectors is delivering direct benefits for our people.
“This APEC meeting will have a strong focus on adopting better digital technologies.
“For Papua New Guinea, expanding into the digital age, particularly for remote and rural communities is very important.”
The week-long series of APEC meetings also includes the 2017 APEC CEO Summit at which the Prime Minister will deliver an address.
“We have a number of Papua New Guinea business leaders who have come to Vietnam with our delegation.
“At the APEC CEO Summit our business representatives will be working to build better links with companies in Viet Nam and around the region.”
The Prime Minister is accompanied by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hon. Rimbink Pato MP, and APEC Minister, Hon. Justin Tkatchenko MP.

Swift Processing Time, Make Banks Compete

Source: PC Online

BY MATTHEW VARI

Chief executive officer of ANZ PNG, Mark Baker has told the Lands Department that it has the ability to create competition among banks in the housing market.

Mr Baker said this during a meeting between major banks and the Land Department in Port Moresby this week.

He said with effective processing times, prices come down on interest rates that aspiring home owners can benefit greatly from.

“If you can get this department to be the best government department, and we can rely on reliable transfer of land title then the banks then start competing with each other,” Mr Baker said.

“Right now because it is static and takes a long time, there is no pressure on us.”

“There are thousands of Papua New Guineans who want to own a home and you have this emerging middle class who want home ownership and they then demand reliable powers and utilities the things we all want.”

Mr Baker told the department it has the opportunity to showcase and drive change in the country, through its mandate.

Government Starts Audit into Rental-Payment Arrangements

The National

AN audit into government departments to justify arrangements for rental payments  started this week,  Personnel Management Secretary John Kali says.

Kali told The National that he was preparing an information brief to present to Cabinet the details of where each government department was housed.

“We are carrying out physical inspections of the all buildings that house the government departments, including Sir Manasupe House and Morauta House,” he said.
“Once the physical inspection is completed, I will present to the Finance Department the leases indicating the agencies, the rented offices and the cost involved.

Cabinet had directed the audit following locking out of some government departments and agencies by landlords for the non-payment of rent, the latest being the Conservation Environment Protection Authority (yesterday) located at the bmobile Building in Waigani.

Treasurer Charles Abel said there was an under-budget on the rentals of about K178 million in the national budget.

PNG HUNTERS TO PLAY ON NRL GRAND FINAL DAY

 24th September 2017
The PNG Hunters have overcome the weight of eight million rabid rugby league fans back home to score a stunning last-minute, 12-10 grand final win over the Sunshine Coast Falcons and change the Intrust Super Cup forever.
After seven minutes the Hunters trailed 10-0 and looked to be completely overawed by the occasion of playing on Suncorp Stadium for the very first time, but the longer the game went the more the momentum grew yet boundless errors and missed opportunities seemed to allow a brave Falcons team to hold on.
The Hunters will now travel to Sydney to play either Wyong or Penrith in the Intrust Super Championship and take centre stage in front of 80,000 fans on NRL Grand Final day next Sunday.
After bombing a chance to score eight minutes earlier, it was Willie Minoga who followed through on an Ase Boas grubber kick in the 79th minute to level the scores at 10-all, Boas sealing the most famous day in PNG rugby league history with a conversion from just to the right of the posts.
Trailing 10-0 at the break after an awful start to the decider, a simple drop of the kick-off to the second half by Scott Drinkwater gave the Hunters a gift-wrapped chance to swing the momentum to the raptures of the parochial PNG contingent.
It was messy, and referee Jarrod Cole sent it for review as a ‘no try’ but video referee Clayton Sharpe determined that the grubber by Ase Boas rifled into the feet of the Falcons players was not knocked on by the chasing Hunters players and Bland Abavu released Watson Boas to score their first try of the grand final.
The entire second half felt as though it was spent with the Hunters pounding away at the Falcons defence only to make error after error in attack and drain all the energy out of an expectant crowd waiting for the go-ahead play.
A Watson Boas 40/20 in the 54th minute failed to lead to points, Falcons captain Dane Hogan was heavily concussed shortly afterwards and inexplicably stayed on the field for four minutes before eventually being dragged by the trainers and Watson Boas twice made basic handling errors inside the Falcons’ red zone.
Ten minutes from full-time Minoga looked like crashing through a gaping hole courtesy of a Wartovo Puara pass but let the ball slip through his fingers with the line wide open as the Falcons again turned them away.
Watson Boas was stretched from the field after copping a heavy head knock defending his try-line and as expectation grew the clock ticked away on the Hunters’ incredible dream that is now a reality.
After a frantic start it appeared that the composure and professionalism of the Falcons would be far too good for the passion of the PNG team who did well to fight their way back into the contest only to cruel the try-scoring opportunities they had with errors attacking the Falcons’ line.
Their best chance of the first half went astray when a Moses Meninga offload hit the ground and David Loko and Brandy Peter both made errors on the first tackle inside the Falcons’ 10-metre line as they dominated territory without having anything to show for it.
The Falcons got off to the perfect start when Jahrome Hughes sent winger Matthew Soper-Lawler on a weaving run to the tryline with a one-handed flick pass inside the first two minutes and the Storm connection struck again five minutes later when Ryley Jacks sent Joe Stimson slicing through on the left.
The game threatened to escape the Hunters’ reach before many of the fans flooding into Suncorp Stadium could take their seats but every time they put pressure on the Falcons they committed the cardinal sins of giving away unnecessary penalties or making basic errors.
PNG Hunters 12 (Watson Boas, Willie Minoga tries; Ase Boas 2 goals) def. Sunshine Coast Falcons 10 (Matthew Soper-Lawler, Joe Stimson tries; Stimson 1 goal) at Suncorp Stadium. Crowd: 11,260 (record for Cup Grand Final).

Pacific Tuna Forum – O’Neill speech

 

At the 6th Pacific Tuna Forum

 

Under the theme:

“Fostering Greater Social, Economic and Financial Benefits – Through Sustainable Management and Development of Tuna Resources”

 

13 September 2017

 

Good Morning,

 

It is a pleasure for Papua New Guinea to host this very prestigious 6th Pacific Tuna Forum.

 

Tuna is indeed the natural resource that binds the peoples and Governments of the Pacific Islands together.

 

Tuna is also the major revenue earner for many of our Governments in the Pacific, and for some, it is their single source of revenue.

 

The importance placed on this resource cannot be overstated.

 

Even back in the 1970s, one of the main policy agendas of many Governments was co-operation together to manage their tuna resources.

 

This bi-annual Pacific Tuna Forum is an initiative of the Papua New Guinea Government, through the National Fisheries Authority, when it was first held here in 2007.

 

Today, it is held in Partnership with INFO-FISH, and our Regional Fisheries Management Organizations.

 

This 3rd forum to be hosted in Papua New Guinea, and also includes the inaugural fishery technology expo that was held yesterday.

 

This forum is a premier tuna industry meeting in the Pacific region.

 

I welcome all policy makers, fishery managers, NGOs and industry leaders from around the world, who are with us here today.

 

The theme of this Forum, focusing on “Greater Social, Economic and Financial Benefits Through Sustainable Management” is very timely.

 

This theme also resonates quote well with the theme of the 48th Pacific Islands Forum in Apia last week, that very much focused on sustainable development, management and conservation of the Blue Pacific.

 

At the Leaders’ meetings in Apia, we urged the establishment and mainstreaming of regional Minimum Terms and Conditions in all areas of investment and development.

 

This includes a focus on the environment, and compliance across all marine sectors, particularly fisheries.

 

We are placing our support behind a number of initiatives and export standards.

 

This includes Competent Authorities and Catch Documentation Schemes in our region’s small Island economies.

 

As a region we have access to over 50 percent of world tuna supplies.

 

However, the major markets for tuna are not within our region.

 

Papua New Guinea, through the National Fisheries Authority, recognised the importance of expanding our markets.

 

We have established a Trade Lobby Committee which is comprised of both Government and industry representatives.

 

The aim of this committee is to explore and develop new markets.

 

We must be proactive, and go out and look for markets for our fisheries products if we are to have a viable industry into the future.

 

But Pacific Island Nations need to maintain focus on what we must do to ensure we have a viable fisheries sector for our children and their futures.

 

We are building upon the 2016 Forum Communique calling for all high seas bunkering of purse seiners – to be forced into our zones and under license.

 

As part of this, we must broaden this to include long line transhipping and bunkering operations.

 

We have to work together to further prevent illegal activities.

 

Building upon the success of PNA nations in managing the purse seine fishery, we further urge Small Island Nations to use their strength in number, for greater leverage on their interests and to safeguard the interests of our countries.

 

As Pacific Island States we need to steer our destiny in zone and in self-determination, and ensure benefits go to the people and economies.

 

We must do this rather than struggle with external dictates by those believing they have paternalistic rights to our fish and our waters.

 

Overall we need to strengthen Pacific solidarity in ensuring collective efforts for joint initiatives for improved ownership, participation and returns from the Blue Pacific.

 

This needs to be through specific initiatives in the sectors such as fishing, processing, transport, trade, and food security.

 

We can build upon the successes of our regional brand for niche products, and ensure that we have the right standards.

 

I urge that we ensure that our operators are provided with more opportunities and supported by the government in the sector.

 

This can be support through the development of partner funded initiatives, so we are not just seeing 100% foreign ventures promoted in these sectors throughout the region.

 

We need genuine joint ventures.

 

We also encourage PPP initiatives, especially in port services, processing and cold store infrastructure development.

 

In my view there is has great potential for our economies, particularly in port waste management for the sector, and this has the added benefit of helping to preserve the natural environment.

 

We need to develop more downstream processing and provide more spin-off business opportunities for our people.

 

All too often we see the tuna sector that is alienating itself from pour people, and particularly our SMEs.

 

We must create more opportunities so that is industry can continue to provide, more support for labour mobility, and making sure that there are more income-earning opportunities for our coastal communities throughout the Pacific Island Nations.

 

These untapped resources, and the opportunities that are available, must be accessed at sea and onshore.

 

Our Government today, is taking a stand against those non-preforming ventures.

 

We are now going to review over the next three months.

 

We are going to review many of these ventures, and the agreements that we have, because as I said at the Pacific Islands’ Forum last week.

 

For far too long in our region, we see ventures that continue to never make profits, Maurice Brown-John said in Apia last week, they never want to leave either.

 

That is why, enough-is-enough.

 

It is time to stop playing these kind of games.

 

It is important that benefits are shared equally, and fairly, so that our people benefit from the resources that they truly own.

 

Our Government is continuing to undertake the responsibility to continue to build good public infrastructure, and provide more training, and tax incentives that will continue to strengthen the industry as we have done in the past.

 

Papua New Guinea has subsidised this industry over the past decade, almost to the tune of almost 1 billion US Dollars.

 

This is by way of concessional fishing rights, in addition to many other generous concessions to the fishing industry.

 

But the reality this hardly adds to the production output that we have sought to achieve.

 

So we can ask where are the results from the investment that the country has been making?

 

We only see market share eroding, for example countries are having access to the markets that are usually reserved for countries like Papua New Guinea, where the tuna originates.

 

So in countries like Germany, they are achieving market share of close to 40 per cent, from exports that come from Papua New Guinea and the Pacific region.

 

This is unacceptable to countries like ours, because it erodes the market share for our people and our country.

 

That is why it is important that we go back and review some of the agreements, where we are not seeing processing plants that are not even running up to 75 per cent capacity that is required to hold a license in the industry.

 

We have a scenario where only 1 in 5 fish, that our Government has subsidised, is actually processed in Papua New Guinea.

 

Only 1 in 3, or even 1 in 4 jobs to process the catch are in Papua New Guinea.

 

In reality it means that almost 80% of the benefits from Papua New Guinea, are actually enjoyed by other countries.

 

That is why PNG flagged vessels, that fish our waters today, who enjoy the discounts, and yet have not landed a single fish to our processors in 2 years will be held to account.

 

This is simply not acceptable.

 

Our Government will implement changes.

 

They will make the review, and by 2018 I expect that this scenario will change.

 

We will increase rewards and support to direct to those who are genuine in the industry, who are genuine in wanting to process the fish in Papua New Guinea.

 

Let me state again, we welcome genuine investors, but those who are only here for cheap fishing are welcome to leave.

 

Our Government is committed to building the necessary support infrastructure.

 

We will create facilities so that fishing men and women, and processors are able to bring fish into ports in a timely manner, can process them at a reasonable cost.

 

We are exploring funding options for the Wagang Port, a dedicated fisheries port in Lae.

 

We want this critical infrastructure to commence construction soon.

 

As many of you will know the Government of Papua New Guinea proposed the Pacific Marine Industrial Zone in Madang as a regional tuna processing hub.

 

We will continue to pursue this project.

 

There is no easy way and there are no shortcuts in building a truly robust and competitive fisheries industry together.

 

We need to build competitiveness by increasing productivity and reducing costs of production.

 

During this term of Government, the policies and the achievements of the PNG fisheries sector will be measured against the regional benchmark.

 

This will be as outlined in the regional roadmap for sustainable fisheries.

 

We will continue to pursue onshore investment so that we can support these policies, and work with processors towards meeting their processing capacities.

 

Our Government is committed to making this happen, and will work with all stakeholders, especially our locally based fishing and processing industries.

 

We have the greatest potential in our tuna industry.

 

And together we will build a fairer, sustainable and more profitable tuna sector.

 

I wish you all a successful, informative and productive forum and an enjoyable stay in Papua New Guinea.

 

I now declare open – the 06th Pacific Tuna Forum 2017.

 

Thank you.

Prime Minister – Peter O’Neill

Opening Address to Parliament – Prime Minister Peter O’Neill

Address to Parliament by

Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP

Prime Minister 


22 August 2017

Mr. Speaker,
I thank His Excellency, the Governor-General of Papua New Guinea, Grand Chief Sir Bob Dadae, for his opening address to this Honourable House this morning.

Mr. Speaker,
Please allow me to express the Government’s appreciation on this occasion, and at the same time Mr. Speaker, to take this opportunity to welcome all Members of Parliament on both sides of the House. 
Our people have placed their trust in all of us to represent them in this House so we can continue to stand-up for the interests of our great Nation.
Now is the time to be united behind this common trust that our people have place in us.
Now is a time to put aside personality politics.
It is a time to debate policy and ideas that will advance the interests of all Papua New Guineans.
As a Government, we will continue to build on the foundations that we laid over the past five years.
We went to elections with a core set of policies, and the voters embraced these policies.
Working with our coalition partners in Alotau, we have further strengthened these policies, and this going to be is the agenda that we bring to this Parliament.
We have the mandate of the people, and we will honour this mandate given to us through our words and through our actions.

ECONOMIC FOUNDATIONS
As a Government we must maintain focus on strengthening our economic foundations of our Nation.
We will review the revenue that our Government currently generates.
Through this process we will identify areas where we are not reaching our true potential, and to increase these revenue streams.
This will involve the development of a comprehensive Medium-Term Revenue Strategy to stimulate revenue-led growth for our economy.

REVENUE AND DEBT REVIEW
Alongside this assessment of revenue, we will undertake a very comprehensive review of expenditure and our debt management strategy.
We acknowledge that debt is an essential part of life for Government and business alike. 
We must continue to think long-term and continue to apply sensible debt management.
Our economy is in a strong position compared to similar economies around the world, and we will continue to review this position and make positive change.

EXPANDING ECONOMIC PARTICIPATION
An important element in facilitating true economic growth is sharing the gains so that all people benefit.
Our Government, working with our agencies of Government and international partners, will expand the delivery of economic inclusion programs.
We will continue to increase financial literacy and access to credit in the formal economy.

SME DEVELOPMENT
Over the last 40 years, one key business short-falls has been our country’s ability to grow the SME Sector.
While we are open to inviting more foreign direct investment, we need there to be a more level playing field especially in the SME sector.
We are delivering a comprehensive strategy that will grow this sector into the future.

RESOURCES PROJECTS
When it comes to large-scale projects, global companies continue to maintain the highest level of confidence in our oil, gas and mineral sectors.
We are working with TOTAL from France, ExxonMobil from the United States, Oil Search and other companies so that we can develop the next level of LNG production in our country.
At the same time, we know that our value-add strategy coming from this is one that we must advance so that our people and our country continue to benefit more.
We will advance plans to establish a petrochemicals industry in our country over the coming years.

LAND OWNERSHIP
We also need to work harder so that we can continue to support land ownership and equitable benefit sharing that our people are demanding.
We want to ensure that traditional owners can truly benefit from the resources that they and their communities have possessed for thousands of years.
To this end, we are committed to a review on ownership rights of resources in our country.

FORESTRY
Our forestry sector is another resource where we can value-add.
For far too long, Governments have had a less than transparent visibility of this industry where a blind-eye has been turned to issues blatantly before Government.
In this term of Government we will legislate for sustainable forestry development, and we will continue to increase landowner participation in this industry.

TOURISM
A further area of great potential for our people is tourism in this country.
There is so much that we have to offer the world tourism market, and to offer to our own domestic tourist market.
We must strengthen tourism infrastructure, this includes not only building hotels, but other infrastructure like sea ports and air ports.
As agreed in the Second Alotau Accord, we will promote and establish associated infrastructure for the tourism Hubs in our country.

INFRASTRUCTURE
The economy of our nation can only move forward if we have the right infrastructure in place.
Over recent decades, infrastructure has been left to ruin, and has not kept pace with a growing population.
Through the Second Alotau Accord, we have committed to opening up missing links, especially road and bridge links between many of the isolated communities right throughout the country.
We are determined to bring other infrastructure such as power and telecommunications, and make them cheaper.

LAW AND ORDER
Over recent decades, Papua New Guinea has suffered from a negative reputation because of Law and Order issues.
Through the policy initiatives of the Second Alotau Accord, we will create safer and more secure communities.
Our Government is committed to continuing the recruitment of well-disciplined police men and woman, and also other disciplined forces, and equipping them properly so that the can do a fair job.
We will also review legislation that governs all of our disciplined services, to ensure far better accountability so that there is far better command and control structures in place.
Today, in many parts of the country the judiciary and legal system are also gaining access to better infrastructure.
At the same time, our judiciary and legal infrastructure will continued to be enhanced and updated.

EDUCATION
Free education for our children has certainly changed the Nation and launched a new path for many Papua New Guineans.
Over the past five years we have placed more than one million additional children in school.
The first five years of free education has come with a lot of challenges, we are the first to admit this.
Our clear focus now is on improving the quality of education for all of our children.
We also need to keep increasing the number of Papua New Guineans who are getting trade qualifications, as well as expanding their academic qualifications through universities.
We are committed to establishing of an Education Endowment Fund that will further enhance quality education being delivered throughout our country.

HEALTHCARE
Providing healthcare to remote and rural areas remains a core Government policy.
Access to hospital care should not be restricted to urban areas only, and in this term of Government, we will continue to build and rehabilitate district and provincial hospitals.
We will continue to work with churches, NGOS and partner Governments, to strengthen our healthcare services.
We will subsidise specialised healthcare, and we will improve the collation and use of health data and wellbeing indicators. 

POPULATION
We really do not know how many people live in our country.
We have estimates, but these are not accurate enough.
We need to re-establish a National Data Collection Centre so that we can plan better and we can develop policies that better reflect the population distribution in our country.
Accurate population data is key for proper Public Policy planning and monitoring. 
We must aim to keep our economic growth above our population growth, and we can only do this by having access to reliable data so that we can monitor these very indicators as we move forward.

FOREIGN POLICY
We live in an ever-changing and globalising world, it is essential that we position ourselves to be a functional and respected global citizen.
We will continue to grow our trading opportunities and partnerships with many other countries within the region.
We will continue to build our multi-national relations that we already have.
Papua New Guinea is now the incoming host of APEC.
In November next year, the twenty Presidents and Prime Ministers of APEC’s other Member Economies will visit our country.
This is an opportunity to showcase our country to the world.
It is an opportunity to change the way the world views our country.
Papua New Guinea’s APEC will have very Pacific-style Hospitality along with world-class security arrangements.

CONCLUSION – POSITIVE FUTURE
We will continue to be a Government that Governs for all Papua New Guineans.
We must unite all of our people for the betterment of their lives and our country.
We will execute the mandate that has been entrusted to us with diligence and compassion.
We will work day-and-night to deliver the infrastructure and the services that will continue to strengthen our economy and our communities.
This is our pledge that our Government makes to our people.
We thank our Nation and this Honourable House for the mandate that has been bestowed upon us.
We will certainly not let you down, and we will deliver to your expectations.
God Bless Papua New Guinea.

Government to establish a Gold Bullion Bank

The Coalition Government of Papua New Guinea has agreed to setup a Gold Bullion Bank for Papua New Guinea in the Alotau Accord 2 Agreement that it’s MP’s signed in Alotau.

As Part of its promised for its people and to strengthen the National Economy and it’s local currency, the Alotau Accord 2 focus more on Economic Growth in the country.

The PNC led Government of O’Neill/Abel puts down-stream processing as its priority and the Gold Bullion Bank is its Top Agenda

Establish a gold bullion bank to address exchange rate challenges.

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We undertake to deliver the following priorities over the course of the next five (5) years:

Economic Growth – Revenue Generation, Debt management and expenditure review; economic participation and empowerment, ownership rights and equitable benefit sharing, and business focus

Infrastructure – Continue to develop and maintain key productive infrastructure assets including opening up missing road links and bridges, increasing communication access for rural areas, utilities upgrade (Water and Electricity), housing, air and sea ports;

Law & Order – create safer and secure communities, increase police numbers and discipline, strengthen all levels of courts including villages courts and official, complete rural lock ups and minimize prison breaks.

Education – Continue the Free Education Policy but focus more on increasing quality of teacher training, children learning and infrastructure development including classrooms.

Health – continue the free basic health care and subsidized specialized health care policy and improve health indicators.

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