Category Archives: Trade

PM Backs PNG In Trade Deal

By HELEN TARAWA in Da Nang, Vietnam


PAPUA New Guinea is well placed in the region to participate in the bilateral trade agreement with the 11 nations forming the Trans Pacific Partnership, says Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

He told the Apec Leaders’ summit in Da Nang, Veitnam, that the country was easily accessible to markets in China, Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia.

“PNG is an emerging economy and one of the fastest growing in the region, averaging about 6 per cent in the past 15 years,” he said.

He said Malaysia, Australia, Japan and the United States were “big investors in PNG”.

“There are good opportunities for companies and countries to invest in our country,” O’Neill said.

“Our sectors energy and mining industries are among some of the global deposit reserves and that gives them that opportunity to invest in.

“We are also located in the region where we are very easily accessible to the markets in China, Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia where there is a large population demanding our resources.”

On security, O’Neill said: “When we discuss security in the region, it is always related to the trade and investments that are falling within our economies.”

He said security was crucial to ensure there was stability in trading and investment opportunities.

“There must be continuing dialogue between all parties. Continuous stand-offs and threats against each other do not help in investment opportunities in the region,” O’Neill said.

“The Asia-Pacific is a strong growth area for the world economy so we must manage security issues by having more dialogue with each other.”


BSP opens branch in Cambodia

By: Cedric Patjole – 26 May 2017
Bank South Pacific will be creating history when it enters the Asian market following the announcement of its new new branch in Cambodia.
This was revealed today during the announcing of the final dividend to shareholders for 2016 today.
The decision to enter Cambodia was settled on May 2nd this year.

BSP owns 50 per cent of an asset finance company called RMA Finance, which is now in the process of being rebranded to BSP Finance Cambodia Proprietary Limited.
“It’s already operating. We now own 50 per cent and the formal rebranding, hopefully by the end of July we’ll have the BSP colours proudly in Cambodia,” said BSP CEO Robin Fleming.

The new branch in Cambodia is part of BSP strategy to enter the Asian market following its successful penetration in the Pacific which it has successfully covered following its acquisition of Westpac’s assets in the region.
BSP Board Chairman Sir Kostas said other countries in BSP’s sights include Lao’s, Myanmar, and Vietnam which they hope to enter between 18 months to two years.
“We’re starting to do feasibility on these Laos, Myanmar, I mean these things don’t happen overnight. There’s a timeframe, we make sure we have all the ticks in the boxes first. Make sure all the regulatory requirements are satisfied and we proceed. 
But there is opportunity in these countries. That’s the main thing,” said Sir Kostas.

BSP is the largest business in PNG outside of companies in the resources sector.
The banking chain has seen remarkable growth, particularly over the last three years despite a tough economic environment.
The growth and performance is attributed to the management team and staff of the company.

Papua New Guinea want more Trade support from Australia 


PAPUA New Guinea is pushing Australia to make dramatic changes to its foreign aid to the country.
At the 25th Papua New Guinea-Australia Ministerial Forum in Madang the PNG Government sent signals that by 2020, Australian aid, which is worth more than A$500 million, should be channeled through the PNG budget system.
PNG is the biggest recipient with more than 60 per cent of Australia’s total assistance package for foreign countries.

Currently, Australian aid targets specific programs outside PNG’s development budget and the government has complained about this, saying it does not conform with its development priorities.

We need Trade , not AID

National Planning Minister Charles Abel said yesterday that there was now a need to continue to evolve the relationship to one based on a mutually beneficial trading and investment partnership.
Mr Abel said that as the planning minister and head of the aid program, he requested that a significant trade and investment package be included and that all programs continued to be more focused and visible with fewer programs and less focus on technical assistance.

“We want trade not aid. We just want them to come in and support the PNG Government system…they are channeling their aid, which is recognised in our budget, but it’s not really passing through our budget,” he said.

“We want you to continue the work, you helping us, but you have to make it more strategic and more visible and thicker, not thinly spread everywhere.
“All we are saying is we have established our government plans, we have our targets and we want you to come in and work through our plans.”

Mr Abel said that aid used to be budget support in the 1990s, but Australia moved away from that because there were issues they were not comfortable with.

He said that based on the Medium Term Development Plan (MTDP) 2 and the 2015 PNG Development Cooperation Policy, the PNG Government’s desire is to move the aid program to budget support by 2020.

“The aid can be program-based but must come through PNG’s systems,” he said.

Successive MTDPs promote critical development indicators that the PNG Government and its development partners, like the Government of Australia, commit to addressing in a comprehensive, robust and dynamic manner.

Mr Abel said it is important to have a structured approach to aid co-ordination, and the Australian Government and other development partners must recognise and subscribe to the development aspirations of the Government and people.

Direct Flights between PNG and New Zealead signed

By: Toa Sime   
Papua New Guinea and New Zealand have finally signed an air services agreement paving the way for more air travel between the two countries.
Foreign Affairs Minister Rimbink Pato and his New Zealand counterpart, Murray McCulley signed the documents in Port Moresby, yesterday.
This now means there will be direct air travel between the two countries instead of having to make connection flights through Australian ports.

This is also Mr. McCully’s final visit to PNG as Minister for Foreign Affairs.
The New Zealand Foreign Minister and his delegation will travel to Bougainville to meet with the Autonomous Bougainville Government and other leaders there, to discuss that country’s ongoing support to developments in Bougainville. 
They depart out of Bougainville for Solomon Islands today.
NBC News – Toa Sime

Israel Visa Agreement Starts

By: Post Courier

The Papua New Guinea Israel Jewish Council applauds the Governments of Israel and Papua New Guinea for finalising the agreement between the State of Israel and the Government of Papua New Guinea on visa exemption for holders of diplomatic, service/official and national/ordinary passports, commencing January 24, 2017.


Under this arrangement, Israeli nationals will not require visas to enter PNG ports for 60 days and PNG nationals to enter Israeli Ports for up to 90 days.

In a statement the council said the agreement would not have been possible without the special relationship of Prime Ministers Peter O’Neill and Benjamin Netanyahu, and thanked them both for enacting this important framework.

They said with Israel’s continuing dominance in education, health, hi-tech and agriculture, and Papua New Guinea’s extractive wealth and its potential destination for tourism, this arrangement provides a deeper engagement for our people, businesses and governments to exchange, interact and build the unique relationship that commenced days after Papua New Guinea’s independence.

PNGIJC also thanks Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and his government for their continuing protection and security of PNG nationals to access sacred sites of the Bible in Israel and more importantly Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people.

PNG’s Bank South Pacific eyes ASX listing via UBS

Papua New Guinea’s largest bank, Bank South Pacific, is heading towards a listing on the Australian Securities Exchange through investment bank UBS, with a float expected to be worth at least $1 billion.

Bankers at UBS met with fund managers in the past fortnight, testing their appetite for a dual listing of the financial operation in Australia, in addition to the Port Moresby stock exchange, where it is already listed.

The bank — one of the largest listed on the Port Moresby Exchange — has more deposits than loans because of the limited corporate field to lend to in Papua New Guinea, according to sources.


There are a number of economic headwinds in PNG — its biggest market — with inflation running at 6 or 7 per cent, while currency risk remains a factor.

Gross domestic product in PNG is shrinking due to the completion of the PNG LNG project. At the same time the weaker outlook for oil has put a question mark over other major energy projects.

Currently listed, Bank South Pacific is owned by various local institutions.

Net interest margins are 7 per cent, and the long-term compound annual growth rate is 24 per cent. The bank doubled its earnings in the past six years, posting 532 million kina ($224.9m) in net profit during the 2015 financial year, and return on equity is 29 per cent.

In 2014, its revenue was 1.67 billion kina.

BSP also has 20 per cent of its earnings from tier one capital and has the largest amount of employees, branches (there are currently 35 in six countries) and ATMs.

It has 650,000 banking customers throughout the Pacific, and in December 2014, it had assets valued at 15.8 billion kina.

Originally, BSP was derived from the National Bank of Australasia, based in Port Moresby.

As independence approached for PNG, the incoming government made known its desire that all banks in PNG be locally incorporated, rather than branches of a foreign parent.

Since its inception, Bank South Pacific has had a strategy of rapidly expanding throughout the South Pacific.

It has acquired assets from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac

Our bank regulator, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, has a cross-border training program with PNG authorities.

BSP’s move comes after PNG finance house Kina Securities listed in Australia last year in a dual listing to raise $97m, with a $164m market value, in an effort to offer funding power for its Malaysian-owned Maybank acquisition and enable the sell-down of 35 per cent shareholder Fu Shan Investment. Former Suncorp banking chief David Foster was appointed to the board.

Since listing at $1 per share, the company’s share price has risen to $1.06, which was its closing price on Friday.

PNG Businessman Invest in Cairns

CAIRNS could be getting yet another new high-rise with a 20-storey residential and office tower proposed for the city centre.


A development application for Cairns Citi Tower, to be constructed on the vacant block opposite the city’s courthouse on Sheridan St, has been lodged with the Cairns ­Regional Council.


It has been proposed by a local consortium, Noipo Investments Pty Ltd, understood to be led by Papua New Guinea businessman Raphael Noipo, who ran for prime minister of the nation in 2013.

The mixed-use project includes:

■ A 62.4m tower consisting of 20-storeys

■ Two office tenancies on the ground floor

■ 12 studio office tenancies on levels 1-3

■ 12 caretakers’ accommodation dwellings, provided for each of the office tenancies

■ 18 one-three bedroom apartments

■ 41 multiple dwelling units/short-term accommodation suites proposed over seven storeys

■ 24 short-term accommodation suites

■ Conference room

■ Gymnasium

■ 93 carparking spaces over five storeys

The application, prepared by Cardno town planners, says the project aims to capitalise on a unique position, situated among existing developments, State Government offices, the Cairns courts and police ­station.

It says a key feature of the development is the 12 studio office tenancies, ranging in size from about 43-87sq m.

“Expected to appeal to the needs of fly-in/fly-out professionals (particularly those associated with the Cairns courts) and companies requiring satellite offices, the studio office tenancies and accompanying caretaker’s accommodation dwellings encourage greater economic diversity within Cairns, providing the opportunity for a range of companies to set up a base locally from which to expand on,” it states.

The proposed development will also incorporate elements of Cairns Regional Council’s tropical urbanism principles, including pockets of vertical landscaping, podium landscaping, and a green wall to the front facade.

Australian First Realty director Robert Smith, who has been advertising the project, would only say it was one of three DAs being prepared for the site.

The initial plans for Cairns Citi Tower described the project as a hybrid between an office and a hotel.

« Older Entries