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February 26, 2024
The Minister for International Trade and Investment, Hon. Richard Maru recently announced that the Government has issued new policy directions for Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to give first priority to PNG investors. “The Marape-Rosso Government enacted the Special Economic Zone Authority Legislation in 2019 without the policy. Since my appointment as the Minister responsible for Special Economic zones, one of my KPIs is to ensure that the new SEZ Policy of Papua New Guinea is completed and launched this year. Among the key policies will be a policy on local ownership of investors or locators of Special Economic Zones. The policy will prescribe that Papua New Guineans will be given priority to invest in the Special Economic Zones and either be majority owned or be substantial shareholders of any investments in Special Economic Zone development in Papua New Guinea. This is so that they benefit from the incentives provided by the Government and the wealth of this nation is shared among our citizens, not only the institutional shareholder like Nasfund but also the landowner companies, SMEs, and ordinary mothers and fathers in the villages. As part of this undertaking, the Government is keen for investors to partner the Government through my Ministry (Ministry of International Trade and Investment) to set up Joint Venture (JV) companies that are publicly owned by our citizens and investors both local and international,” said Minister Maru. As part of this undertaking the Government had directed the Paga Hill Estate to give first priority to Papua New Guinean investors for other investments on Paga Hill SEZ other than the Radisson Blu Hotel development. “We understand that Paga Hill Estate already has investors locked in for the Radisson Blu Hotel which will be 40 per cent owned by Papua New Guinea investors. Apart from this, the Government has now directed Paga Hill Estate that all other investments in the Paga Hill Special Economic Zone including the new shopping mall, private hospitals, and other business ventures must be majority owned by Papua New Guinean citizens,” said Minister Maru. Minister Maru further stated: I have now written to the Paga Hill Estate to advise them to immediately work with my Ministry (Ministry of International Trade and Investment) to put together a public company that will be listed on the Port Moresby Stock Exchange and jointly owned by the institutional investors, landowner companies, and the ordinary people of Papua New Guinea through an initial public offering. This company will be used to raise funds for all the investments so that companies residing in Papua New Guinea and Papua New Guinean owned companies including superfunds, landowner companies, and ordinary mothers and fathers from the villages will invest in the Paga Hill Special Economic Zone. We will have discussions with the Securities Commission of Papua New Guinea and the Port Moresby Stock Exchange to put together this company. The Paga Hill Special Economic Zone is a gamechanger for our country and we want it to be proudly owned by Papua New Guineans with them being the major shareholders in all new developments other than the Radisson Blue Hotel development.” “We are also looking at similar companies to be also created for other Special Economic Zones right across the country so Papua New Guineans can maximize the benefits of investment opportunities in our country. We want more and greater Papua New Guinean equity and we can do that through the special purpose vehicle which is a listed Papua New Guinea company created specifically to be an investment vehicle for Papua New Guineans in the Special Economic Zones,” said Minister Maru.
February 26, 2024
The Minister for International Trade and Investment, Hon. Richard Maru recently announced that the Government has issued new policy directions for Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to give first priority to PNG investors. “The Marape-Rosso Government enacted the Special Economic Zone Authority Legislation in 2019 without the policy. Since my appointment as the Minister responsible for Special Economic zones, one of my KPIs is to ensure that the new SEZ Policy of Papua New Guinea is completed and launched this year. Among the key policies will be a policy on local ownership of investors or locators of Special Economic Zones. The policy will prescribe that Papua New Guineans will be given priority to invest in the Special Economic Zones and either be majority owned or be substantial shareholders of any investments in Special Economic Zone development in Papua New Guinea. This is so that they benefit from the incentives provided by the Government and the wealth of this nation is shared among our citizens, not only the institutional shareholder like Nasfund but also the landowner companies, SMEs, and ordinary mothers and fathers in the villages. As part of this undertaking, the Government is keen for investors to partner the Government through my Ministry (Ministry of International Trade and Investment) to set up Joint Venture (JV) companies that are publicly owned by our citizens and investors both local and international,” said Minister Maru. As part of this undertaking the Government had directed the Paga Hill Estate to give first priority to Papua New Guinean investors for other investments on Paga Hill SEZ other than the Radisson Blu Hotel development. “We understand that Paga Hill Estate already has investors locked in for the Radisson Blu Hotel which will be 40 per cent owned by Papua New Guinea investors. Apart from this, the Government has now directed Paga Hill Estate that all other investments in the Paga Hill Special Economic Zone including the new shopping mall, private hospitals, and other business ventures must be majority owned by Papua New Guinean citizens,” said Minister Maru. Minister Maru further stated: I have now written to the Paga Hill Estate to advise them to immediately work with my Ministry (Ministry of International Trade and Investment) to put together a public company that will be listed on the Port Moresby Stock Exchange and jointly owned by the institutional investors, landowner companies, and the ordinary people of Papua New Guinea through an initial public offering. This company will be used to raise funds for all the investments so that companies residing in Papua New Guinea and Papua New Guinean owned companies including superfunds, landowner companies, and ordinary mothers and fathers from the villages will invest in the Paga Hill Special Economic Zone. We will have discussions with the Securities Commission of Papua New Guinea and the Port Moresby Stock Exchange to put together this company. The Paga Hill Special Economic Zone is a gamechanger for our country and we want it to be proudly owned by Papua New Guineans with them being the major shareholders in all new developments other than the Radisson Blue Hotel development.” “We are also looking at similar companies to be also created for other Special Economic Zones right across the country so Papua New Guineans can maximize the benefits of investment opportunities in our country. We want more and greater Papua New Guinean equity and we can do that through the special purpose vehicle which is a listed Papua New Guinea company created specifically to be an investment vehicle for Papua New Guineans in the Special Economic Zones,” said Minister Maru.
February 26, 2024
Mayur Resources Limited wishes to update shareholders regarding its announced partnership with PT SEA First Nickel Industry (PTSFNI) on 23 January 2024 concerning the Orokolo Bay Vanadium, Titanium, and Iron Sands project in Papua New Guinea (PNG). PTSFNI has requested to put on hold its obligations to fund the development of the Orokolo Bay project, citing “sudden financial difficulties” related to the depressed state of the global nickel market and these prolonged conditions being forecast to continue. PTSFNI wish to continue cooperation with the Company in respect of the Orokolo Bay project should it’s circumstances change. As a result, the Company has agreed with PTSFNI that Mayur has the right to transact with other development partners in relation to the Orokolo Bay project. As previously announced, as part of the proposed strategic partnership, PTSFNI wished to additionally gain ownership exposure to Mayur’s flagship Central Lime Project (Phase 1), the Central Cement Project (Phase 2) and other Company assets by agreeing to acquire a 9.9% stake (Proposed Stake) in the parent Company being 21.99 cents per share representing a 15% premium to the then 30-day VWAP. Given Mayur's share price presently is trading at circa a 43% premium, the Company has agreed with PTSFNI that it no longer has the opportunity or right to acquire such Proposed Stake, nor would it be fair or reasonable to Mayur shareholders to do so. Subject to PTSFNI's financial situation improving and the potential resumption of its paused projects, Mayur has the opportunity to re-engage with PTSFNI on similar terms previously announced in the absence of other development partners in respect of Orokolo Bay. While the Orokolo Bay project is an attractive asset, and the Mayur Board is disappointed at these developments, Mayur purposely embarked upon a structure to bring in a 51% majority controlling strategic investor, as the asset is viewed as a non-core asset. Mayur’s focus is to become a carbon-neutral downstream processing lime and cement manufacturing business. Most of the Company’s focus is devoted to closing the conditions precedent and financing documentation to achieve Financial Close for its Phase 1 Flagship Quicklime development and finalise construction of the associated wharf as previously announced.
February 26, 2024
Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited, Papua New Guinea’s national petroleum and energy company, announced recently that all necessary verification had been completed with the representative company of the PDL 2 landowners, enabling them to receive their portion of accrued Kroton Equity Option (KEO) preferential dividends. Wapu Sonk, Managing Director of Kumul Petroleum said, “together with DPE we have completed verification of the directors and beneficiaries of the PDL 2 representative company, Kutubu Gas Holdings Limited.”  Mr. Sonk explained that under the 2009 PNG LNG Project Umbrella Benefit Sharing Agreement between the State, recognised provincial governments and landowners impacted by the project, certain beneficiaries were entitled to exercise a commercial option to acquire shares in the State entity holding shareholding in the project. Vendor finance for this was arranged by KPHL and known as the Kroton Equity Option.   “Today I am pleased to announce that Kumul Petroleum can award the PDL 2 landowner representative company, Kutubu Gas Holdings Limited, a cheque of K35.3 million for their preferential dividends accrued from 2017 to 2022, a significant sum.”  “I thank these landowners for their patience over the past 6 years.” After consultation with their licence area communities, the PDL2 landowners established Kutubu Gas Holdings Limited, under the chairmanship of Sakai Kei, to receive their KEO dividends.  Mr Sonk added, “It is important that Kumul Petroleum follows due process in this exercise, including proper beneficiary identification, verified by the Department of Petroleum.” “The PDL 2 landowner beneficiaries are the second landowner group to complete this process, after the PDL 7 landowners, who were paid their preferential dividends in August 2022.”  Other Kutubu Gas Holdings Limited directors present at the event included John Kapi Natto, Mark Sakai, Gibson Pole and Asi Ibusubu.  Mr Sonk took the opportunity to encourage other PNG LNG Project beneficiary groups to complete their eligibility criteria compliance so that they too could receive their KEO related benefits.
February 26, 2024
Kumul Petroleum Holdings Limited, Papua New Guinea’s national petroleum and energy company, announced recently that all necessary verification had been completed with the representative company of the PDL 2 landowners, enabling them to receive their portion of accrued Kroton Equity Option (KEO) preferential dividends. Wapu Sonk, Managing Director of Kumul Petroleum said, “together with DPE we have completed verification of the directors and beneficiaries of the PDL 2 representative company, Kutubu Gas Holdings Limited.”  Mr. Sonk explained that under the 2009 PNG LNG Project Umbrella Benefit Sharing Agreement between the State, recognised provincial governments and landowners impacted by the project, certain beneficiaries were entitled to exercise a commercial option to acquire shares in the State entity holding shareholding in the project. Vendor finance for this was arranged by KPHL and known as the Kroton Equity Option.   “Today I am pleased to announce that Kumul Petroleum can award the PDL 2 landowner representative company, Kutubu Gas Holdings Limited, a cheque of K35.3 million for their preferential dividends accrued from 2017 to 2022, a significant sum.”  “I thank these landowners for their patience over the past 6 years.” After consultation with their licence area communities, the PDL2 landowners established Kutubu Gas Holdings Limited, under the chairmanship of Sakai Kei, to receive their KEO dividends.  Mr Sonk added, “It is important that Kumul Petroleum follows due process in this exercise, including proper beneficiary identification, verified by the Department of Petroleum.” “The PDL 2 landowner beneficiaries are the second landowner group to complete this process, after the PDL 7 landowners, who were paid their preferential dividends in August 2022.”  Other Kutubu Gas Holdings Limited directors present at the event included John Kapi Natto, Mark Sakai, Gibson Pole and Asi Ibusubu.  Mr Sonk took the opportunity to encourage other PNG LNG Project beneficiary groups to complete their eligibility criteria compliance so that they too could receive their KEO related benefits.
January 22, 2024
The people of Halia and Haku constituencies in North Bougainville can look forward to transformational change following the launch of the Rural Electrification Program today in Buka. The Program was officially launched today by ABG Vice President and Member for Halia Hon. Patrick Nisira and National Member for North Bougainville Hon. Francesca Semoso, in the presence of ABG Member for Haku Constituency Hon. Patrick Koles, ABG Member for Veterans North Bougainville Hon. Callen Matuna, ABG Caretaker Chief Secretary Esther Usurup and other senior public servants. ABG Vice President Hon. Patrick Nisira said that the Rural Electrification Program was significant because it is now being launched under ABG-owned company, Bougainville Power and Water Limited, who will lead this major development work. The Rural Electrification Program for Bougainville was first launched in 2009 during the term of the first house of the ABG and had started in Tsitalato Constituency and gradually progressed on into Hagogohe Constituency. “Through this Program now, lives will be transformed. It will help businesses to grow and other development will continue to happen. It will also compliment the road development that we already have,” he said. Vice President Nisira emphasized to his constituents that during the initial rollout of this program, an understanding was reached with local chiefs that there should not be any compensation for clearance of land or food crops for this vital development, and appealed to his people that this same understanding must remain in order to access this service at the village level. National Member for North Bougainville Hon. Francesca Semoso in her remarks, made a commitment of K1million towards the program, reaffirming her support to the development of North Bougainville. “This is your money,” Semoso said, while pledging her support to see the Program continue on into Haku Constituency. Hon. Semoso also announced that during her term, she is committed to seeing through major projects such as the completion of the sealing of the Buka Ring Road, including the highway on mainland North Bougainville. Vice President Nisira thanked Member Semoso for her commitment, saying that over the years, despite commitments made by former national Bougainville members, they never lived up to their words to support the rural electrification program. However, he said that with this commitment made now by the National Member for North Bougainville, it will change the way things have been done in the past. Nisira reiterated the ABG’s commitment to continue supporting real development for the people of Bougainville and the region’s collective preparedness for independence-readiness.
January 22, 2024
The people of Halia and Haku constituencies in North Bougainville can look forward to transformational change following the launch of the Rural Electrification Program today in Buka. The Program was officially launched today by ABG Vice President and Member for Halia Hon. Patrick Nisira and National Member for North Bougainville Hon. Francesca Semoso, in the presence of ABG Member for Haku Constituency Hon. Patrick Koles, ABG Member for Veterans North Bougainville Hon. Callen Matuna, ABG Caretaker Chief Secretary Esther Usurup and other senior public servants. ABG Vice President Hon. Patrick Nisira said that the Rural Electrification Program was significant because it is now being launched under ABG-owned company, Bougainville Power and Water Limited, who will lead this major development work. The Rural Electrification Program for Bougainville was first launched in 2009 during the term of the first house of the ABG and had started in Tsitalato Constituency and gradually progressed on into Hagogohe Constituency. “Through this Program now, lives will be transformed. It will help businesses to grow and other development will continue to happen. It will also compliment the road development that we already have,” he said. Vice President Nisira emphasized to his constituents that during the initial rollout of this program, an understanding was reached with local chiefs that there should not be any compensation for clearance of land or food crops for this vital development, and appealed to his people that this same understanding must remain in order to access this service at the village level. National Member for North Bougainville Hon. Francesca Semoso in her remarks, made a commitment of K1million towards the program, reaffirming her support to the development of North Bougainville. “This is your money,” Semoso said, while pledging her support to see the Program continue on into Haku Constituency. Hon. Semoso also announced that during her term, she is committed to seeing through major projects such as the completion of the sealing of the Buka Ring Road, including the highway on mainland North Bougainville. Vice President Nisira thanked Member Semoso for her commitment, saying that over the years, despite commitments made by former national Bougainville members, they never lived up to their words to support the rural electrification program. However, he said that with this commitment made now by the National Member for North Bougainville, it will change the way things have been done in the past. Nisira reiterated the ABG’s commitment to continue supporting real development for the people of Bougainville and the region’s collective preparedness for independence-readiness.
January 24, 2024
For the Central Province, agriculture is at the heart of the economy. Governor Rufina Peter has a background in this field and is well-placed to understand the impact that it can have in the province. This has moved Governor Peter to fund and support two major agriculture impact projects in the Central Province, and funding for them was presented at the Governor's Office on the 18th of January. These are the Yaugala Cattle Farming Project, conducted under the Varagadi Land Group Inc. at Brown River and given funding support of K200,000, and the Bulb Onion training and demonstration plots, to be conducted under the Highlands Potato Connections at Laloki in the Hiri Koiari District. Another 14 Mile project just outside of Port Moresby was supported with K100,000 also coming from the Central Provincial Government. “The extent of the impact will depend on the both of you, on how you run your farm business, given that the bulb onion guy has the experience and you raising cattle it's your first time. You have support from my office with Michael Atuai, who is the Agriculture Projects officer in my office, and there are livestock officers I know we can utilize,” Governor Peter told the recipients. The funding was given in the presence of Hiri Koiari MP Keith Iduhu, who reached out to both recipients, urging them to align their projects with his. The two projects will tap unemployed youths in the province; already, the Yaugala Cattle Farming Manager, Elliot Mark Yamuje, confirmed that six youths have been employed to assist, with more to be engaged. “Cattle farming died out in the Central Province. Being part of the landowner group I want to bring that back, and already we have started with 30 heads of cattle that we bought from our funds from Rumion Farm in Lae. They are grazing on 40 hectares of prime land. Now with your funding support, we can extend a little and now bring in two to three male bulls, and ultimately we are looking at being the main distributor in the province supplying beef to the Papua LNG Project,” Yamuje said. The other project set to make a major impact is the bulb onion training and demonstration plots conducted under the Highlands Potato Connections, which will be a model and demonstration farm at Laloki and 14 Mile respectively. Joshua Lumbalumba from Goroka is the man behind the bulb onion, having his beginnings in the Highlands growing the crop and relocating to the Central Province. Mr. Lumbalumba claims that Central Province has the best climate to produce world-class bulb onions that can replace the imported variety found in the shops and markets in Port Moresby. “I am a farmer of different vegetables, but initially I was discovered by the Fresh Produce Development Agency (FPDA), they discovered me growing my onion as I was the first to plant bulb onion up in Daulo, and hired me to be the village extension worker for FPDA. This is where I shared my knowledge on bulb onion, to train villages in Gembog, and that’s how Gembog onion is all over the market," he said. "I have my farm and over the years I developed my knowledge on how to grow marketable sizes of bulb onions. The onions from Gembog contain a lot of moisture compared to the ones at Daulo from where I’m from because there is heat, but I believe Central Province will have the best because the climate is perfect,” Lumbalumba stated. The Governor's initial plan is for the Laloki and 14 Mile bulb onion plots to be training and demonstration models, where those interested can learn about how to grow onion and take it back to their various districts in the province and teach others.
February 05, 2024
PNGX Group, operator of Papua New Guinea’s national stock exchange, is pleased to announce that it has received advice from the Internal Revenue Commission (“IRC”) that, having looked into the taxation treatment of the various PNG residents impacted by the establishment of depository interests (“PDIs”), the IRC is satisfied that the existing tax treatment of dividend income will not be altered significantly. Similarly, the treatment of stamp duty will not be altered significantly. The IRC has accepted that PDIs will be treated as a pass through arrangement for income tax purposes. This means that PDI holders will be taxed on any dividend distributions they receive on PDIs as though they were shareholders receiving the company dividends directly, subject to overseas withholding tax. PNG dividend withholding tax will not be applied. PDIs will be subject to the same stamp duty arrangements as ordinary shares. That is, onmarket transfers of PDIs on PNGX will not be subject to stamp duty. Off-market transfers of PDIs not on PNGX may be subject to stamp duty as the transfer of a marketable security. Newmont Corporation is the first company to be listed in PNG using PDIs. The IRC has acknowledged that the use of PDIs may be more common going forwards. The IRC reserves the right to reconsider its position should new information come to light “Without this positive advice from the IRC, PNG holders of PDIs would have faced complex taxation treatment of dividends from overseas companies listed on PNGX using PDIs. This complexity would have been to the disadvantage of both PNG investors and the PNG capital market” said PNGX General Manager, Ms Elizabeth Wamsa. “The advice from the IRC means that investors will receive dividends net of USA withholding taxes, and they will need to seek their own advice on the taxation of the dividends and their entitlement to a foreign tax credit”. “We thank the IRC for its pragmatic considerations and its support for the development of the capital market,” she said.
February 05, 2024
PNGX Group, operator of Papua New Guinea’s national stock exchange, is pleased to announce that it has received advice from the Internal Revenue Commission (“IRC”) that, having looked into the taxation treatment of the various PNG residents impacted by the establishment of depository interests (“PDIs”), the IRC is satisfied that the existing tax treatment of dividend income will not be altered significantly. Similarly, the treatment of stamp duty will not be altered significantly. The IRC has accepted that PDIs will be treated as a pass through arrangement for income tax purposes. This means that PDI holders will be taxed on any dividend distributions they receive on PDIs as though they were shareholders receiving the company dividends directly, subject to overseas withholding tax. PNG dividend withholding tax will not be applied. PDIs will be subject to the same stamp duty arrangements as ordinary shares. That is, onmarket transfers of PDIs on PNGX will not be subject to stamp duty. Off-market transfers of PDIs not on PNGX may be subject to stamp duty as the transfer of a marketable security. Newmont Corporation is the first company to be listed in PNG using PDIs. The IRC has acknowledged that the use of PDIs may be more common going forwards. The IRC reserves the right to reconsider its position should new information come to light “Without this positive advice from the IRC, PNG holders of PDIs would have faced complex taxation treatment of dividends from overseas companies listed on PNGX using PDIs. This complexity would have been to the disadvantage of both PNG investors and the PNG capital market” said PNGX General Manager, Ms Elizabeth Wamsa. “The advice from the IRC means that investors will receive dividends net of USA withholding taxes, and they will need to seek their own advice on the taxation of the dividends and their entitlement to a foreign tax credit”. “We thank the IRC for its pragmatic considerations and its support for the development of the capital market,” she said.
October 09, 2023
Hosting the World Indigenous Business Forum (WIBF) in Port Moresby from October 24-26, 2023, is a wonderful opportunity to promote Papua New Guinea as a tourism destination, says the Minister for International Trade and Investment, Hon. Richard Maru. Minister Maru said this recently during the announcement by the Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA) to support the WIBF with the gold sponsorship of K250, 000. “It is a clear objective of our Government to not only host the World Indigenous Business Forum but importantly use it as an opportunity to market our country as a tourism destination and as an investment destination, apart from our indigenous businesses mingling with their counterparts from all over the world to build partnerships and learn from the success of many very successful indigenous businesses worldwide,” said Minister Maru. “There is so much negative news on the media about our country. This is really an opportunity for TPA to step up and market our country as a tourism destination and also as a destination for potential investors in the tourism sector to invest in things like casinos, hotels, and ferries, etc. This is really a wonderful opportunity; this is in fact the biggest opportunity after APEC 2018 to really promote Papua New Guinea and put PNG on the world stage,” said Minister Maru. Minister Maru said TPA’s support was an investment that would pay dividends for many years to come. “This is an opportunity to promote tourism in a big way, so we are really excited about your sponsorship. With this sponsorship, TPA will be given the opportunity to be one of the three PNG guest speakers at the World Indigenous Business Forum where TPA can really market PNG’s tourism sector in a big way. It also gives them a chance to have a booth where TPA can use to promote our country,” said Minister Maru. Minister Maru said over 400 international guests were expected to attend the forum both as delegates and as speakers, and international media were also expected to come. “We also understand that many of the foreign delegates who will be coming are CEOs of their own companies and one thing we want to do is to attract them to stay for another week or two or go back and bring their families for a holiday in Papua New Guinea,” said Minister Maru. Minister Maru also announced that there was a grand opening ceremony being planned. “I am excited to announce that we are planning a grand welcome ceremony with NCDC and the Amazing Port Moresby team where all our own delegates and the foreign delegates and their families will be welcomed at the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium with a big cultural show where the 22 provinces will welcome them. This will be followed by the 2-day event and on the evenings of these two days including the closing ceremony we will still be promoting PNG culture and PNG as a tourism destination,” said Minister Maru. Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Isi Henry Leonard thanked Minister Maru and the WIBF Secretariat for the opportunity to participate in the WIBF. “When we talk about tourism in Papua New Guinea, our product is the country. You are bringing the world to the country, and it is a great honor for TPA to participate in the World Indigenous Business Forum as this is an opportunity that we will showcase the opportunity that we have not only as a destination but also as a place where you can invest in tourism industry; the potential is right here. PNG is one of the last frontiers of the world that needs to be discovered, so we need this platform where we can participate to make that awareness,” said Hon. Leonard.
October 09, 2023
Hosting the World Indigenous Business Forum (WIBF) in Port Moresby from October 24-26, 2023, is a wonderful opportunity to promote Papua New Guinea as a tourism destination, says the Minister for International Trade and Investment, Hon. Richard Maru. Minister Maru said this recently during the announcement by the Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA) to support the WIBF with the gold sponsorship of K250, 000. “It is a clear objective of our Government to not only host the World Indigenous Business Forum but importantly use it as an opportunity to market our country as a tourism destination and as an investment destination, apart from our indigenous businesses mingling with their counterparts from all over the world to build partnerships and learn from the success of many very successful indigenous businesses worldwide,” said Minister Maru. “There is so much negative news on the media about our country. This is really an opportunity for TPA to step up and market our country as a tourism destination and also as a destination for potential investors in the tourism sector to invest in things like casinos, hotels, and ferries, etc. This is really a wonderful opportunity; this is in fact the biggest opportunity after APEC 2018 to really promote Papua New Guinea and put PNG on the world stage,” said Minister Maru. Minister Maru said TPA’s support was an investment that would pay dividends for many years to come. “This is an opportunity to promote tourism in a big way, so we are really excited about your sponsorship. With this sponsorship, TPA will be given the opportunity to be one of the three PNG guest speakers at the World Indigenous Business Forum where TPA can really market PNG’s tourism sector in a big way. It also gives them a chance to have a booth where TPA can use to promote our country,” said Minister Maru. Minister Maru said over 400 international guests were expected to attend the forum both as delegates and as speakers, and international media were also expected to come. “We also understand that many of the foreign delegates who will be coming are CEOs of their own companies and one thing we want to do is to attract them to stay for another week or two or go back and bring their families for a holiday in Papua New Guinea,” said Minister Maru. Minister Maru also announced that there was a grand opening ceremony being planned. “I am excited to announce that we are planning a grand welcome ceremony with NCDC and the Amazing Port Moresby team where all our own delegates and the foreign delegates and their families will be welcomed at the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium with a big cultural show where the 22 provinces will welcome them. This will be followed by the 2-day event and on the evenings of these two days including the closing ceremony we will still be promoting PNG culture and PNG as a tourism destination,” said Minister Maru. Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Isi Henry Leonard thanked Minister Maru and the WIBF Secretariat for the opportunity to participate in the WIBF. “When we talk about tourism in Papua New Guinea, our product is the country. You are bringing the world to the country, and it is a great honor for TPA to participate in the World Indigenous Business Forum as this is an opportunity that we will showcase the opportunity that we have not only as a destination but also as a place where you can invest in tourism industry; the potential is right here. PNG is one of the last frontiers of the world that needs to be discovered, so we need this platform where we can participate to make that awareness,” said Hon. Leonard.
December 13, 2023
by Henry Ivarature On 7 December 2023, the prime ministers of Australia and Papua New Guinea signed an historic security agreement in Canberra. It has taken approximately three years to conclude since both countries signed the Comprehensive Strategic and Economic Partnership on 5 August 2020, which committed the parties to develop a bilateral security treaty. Titled “Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of Papua New Guinea on a Framework for Closer Security Relations”, it is described as a “framework”, so not quite what Australia had hoped for, which was a treaty. Nevertheless, I think, it is as reasonable and pragmatic as it could be in addressing PNG’s serious internal security challenges. Australia has certainly prevailed in working with PNG to get this security framework over the line. The security framework is largely developmental in nature. It covers defence, police, law and justice, violence against women and children, national security, border, maritime and aviation security, cyber security, health security and biosecurity, as well as infrastructure, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and climate change and environment. Its implementation depends on PNG’s political and bureaucratic thought leaders, especially its security sector leadership, who will need to take real ownership of the above-listed “common security interests”, as set out in Article 3 of the agreement, in order to realise the security outcomes Prime Minister James Marape seeks for PNG. Otherwise, the agreement’s noble security and developmental intentions may not be fully realised. Internal security appears to be the main focus of the agreement. Sadly, PNG is a country plagued by endemic law and order problems including tribal violence and horrible sorcery-related crimes against women. In recent years, tribal violence has increased in frequency, getting more violent and destructive, and is exerting enormous pressures on an already under-resourced police force. This state of lawlessness not only makes life unsafe for everyone, especially women and children, but also frightens away potential foreign investors. In this respect, Australia’s investment in policing and the law and justice sector more generally is a pragmatic and necessary step toward addressing a problem that is long overdue for fixing. According to my own sources, the protection of PNG’s sovereignty, particularly in relation to Australia’s request for the granting of privileges and immunities for Australian police officers, was a contentious point in the negotiations. Immunity provisions are notably absent from the security framework. However, this could be dealt with under subsidiary agreements in the future. With respect to possible cross-border deployments to engage in security cooperation, Article 4 of the agreement states that the operating framework will be provided by the existing Agreement between Australia and Papua New Guinea regarding the Status of Forces of Each State in the Territory of the other State, signed in 1977. The security agreement has been kept broad and by sidestepping the contentious question of immunities has reduced any perceived impact on PNG’s sovereignty. Although sovereignty issues might have slowed progress on the agreement, in hindsight it is probably better to have had these matters thoroughly addressed. It is also better to avoid adopting a security framework that skirts around unresolved issues which may later come back to haunt both countries, especially in the “land of the unexpected”. In this respect, credit is due to PNG’s negotiators for not allowing themselves to be rushed, and for waiting until all contentious issues they considered to have implications for national sovereignty were satisfactorily addressed. Kudos, also, to the patient Australian negotiators working on “PNG time” since August 2020. Prime Minister Marape’s next challenge will be to navigate the allegations of inadequate consultation from the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Belden Namah, and reactions from the general public over the coming days and weeks. Although Namah welcomes the security framework, he says Prime Minister Marape’s government is repeating the same mistake it made with the PNG-US defence cooperation agreement – that is, not adequately consulting parliament. On a broader level, and in this period of intense geopolitical contestation in the Indo-Pacific region, the security framework marks another significant milestone in Australia’s efforts to thwart China’s security interests in the Blue Pacific. It comes less than a month after Australia and Tuvalu signed the Australia-Tuvalu Falepili Union Treaty at the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in Cook Islands. Australia has extended its hand to other Pacific states after signing the Treaty with Tuvalu, the first of its kind. Both developments, nonetheless, will further fuel geopolitical competition in the region. China will likely attempt corresponding measures to maintain its influence. I think that, for now, Australia should be relieved that it has signed a security framework agreement, if not a treaty, with PNG. The security framework at least establishes a broad foundation for building closer security relations with Australia’s closest neighbour.   This article appeared first on Devpolicy Blog (devpolicy.org), from the Development Policy Centre at The Australian National University. Henry Ivarature is the Deputy Director at the Australia Pacific Security College, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
February 27, 2024
An exciting milestone under the Youth Opportunities program was completed last week. Thirty-nine participants made up of nine Kutubu Local Level Youth Development Council (KLLYDC) executives and 30 representatives from 18 wards attended a week-long consultation workshop. The representatives were from a range of sectors including education, health, sports, local council, police, church, women's and men's groups from the Lake Kutubu area. The KLLYDC executives and ward representatives spent the time developing the youth council constitution and 5- year development plan. Key partners that also attended this workshop to support KLLYDC included the National Youth Development Authority (NYDA), Department of National Planning & Monitoring (DNPM), Nipa-Kutubu District Development Authority, Kutubu Local Level Government, Santos PNG Stakeholder Engagement, and Santos Foundation. These partners presented key policies and programs for youth development and provided guidance with aligning and including these key strategies in the KLLYDC 5-year development plan. The Voice Inc. facilitated the consultation and encouraged the young executives in planning for a better Kutubu. A key element of this workshop was also having the Santos Foundation Gender Program Manager’s involvement to ensure the voices of women and girls were included. At the end of the week, the draft constitution was signed and handed over to NYDA officials to table at the NYDA Board for vetting and approval. The 5-year development plan is being refined with stakeholders. Upon closing, David William, KLLYDC Chairman thanked Santos Foundation saying "Santos Foundation, with its unwavering support, enabled the NYDA youth governing body to conduct elections and establish the Kutubu Local Level Youth Development Council. This council, represented by 18 ward members within Kutubu, is a crucial platform for the long-overlooked youth of Kutubu to emerge as leaders, contributing to the betterment of our communities, wards, and families. With the invaluable partnership of the Santos Foundation, I am confident that we are laying the groundwork for a brighter future."
February 27, 2024
An exciting milestone under the Youth Opportunities program was completed last week. Thirty-nine participants made up of nine Kutubu Local Level Youth Development Council (KLLYDC) executives and 30 representatives from 18 wards attended a week-long consultation workshop. The representatives were from a range of sectors including education, health, sports, local council, police, church, women's and men's groups from the Lake Kutubu area. The KLLYDC executives and ward representatives spent the time developing the youth council constitution and 5- year development plan. Key partners that also attended this workshop to support KLLYDC included the National Youth Development Authority (NYDA), Department of National Planning & Monitoring (DNPM), Nipa-Kutubu District Development Authority, Kutubu Local Level Government, Santos PNG Stakeholder Engagement, and Santos Foundation. These partners presented key policies and programs for youth development and provided guidance with aligning and including these key strategies in the KLLYDC 5-year development plan. The Voice Inc. facilitated the consultation and encouraged the young executives in planning for a better Kutubu. A key element of this workshop was also having the Santos Foundation Gender Program Manager’s involvement to ensure the voices of women and girls were included. At the end of the week, the draft constitution was signed and handed over to NYDA officials to table at the NYDA Board for vetting and approval. The 5-year development plan is being refined with stakeholders. Upon closing, David William, KLLYDC Chairman thanked Santos Foundation saying "Santos Foundation, with its unwavering support, enabled the NYDA youth governing body to conduct elections and establish the Kutubu Local Level Youth Development Council. This council, represented by 18 ward members within Kutubu, is a crucial platform for the long-overlooked youth of Kutubu to emerge as leaders, contributing to the betterment of our communities, wards, and families. With the invaluable partnership of the Santos Foundation, I am confident that we are laying the groundwork for a brighter future."
February 22, 2024
The PNG Industrial & Mining Resources Exhibition and Conference set to be bigger and better in 2024. The PNG Industrial & Mining Resources Exhibition and Conference (PNG Expo) is the premier event that brings together all sectors of the industrial, mining and resources industries into one location to create a marketplace where business is done. Held from July 3–4, the PNG Expo, now under new ownership with Prime Creative Media, is set to see significant improvements this year. With a strong history in mining, manufacturing and associated industries, Prime Creative Media CEO John Murphy is confident that its business is an ideal match to help grow the Papua New Guinean industries. “We are excited to bring our extensive knowledge and expertise to PNG Industrial and Mining Resources Exhibition and Conference,” said Murphy. Prime Creative Media is committed to investing the time and resources needed to grow this event and the broader Papua New Guinea industries. To this end, the PNG Expo will be held in the Stanley Hotel in Port Moresby, a venue selected not just for its sophistication, but to limit travel and prioritise guest comfort. A gated complex designed to enhance guest safety, the Stanley Hotel features air-conditioning and multi-layered security protocols to provide a comfortable backdrop to the event’s strong conference format. “We have received really positive feedback from the industry so far,” show director Lauren Chartres said. “We’re excited to see this event moving to a new phase of development and bringing additional value to the Papua New Guinea resources sector.” Prime Creative Media is excited to bring an event that celebrates the people of Papua New Guinea as well as the industries that keep the country moving. Murphy travelled to the Pacific nation in October 2023 to meet with government delegates and heads of top miners in the country ahead of the event. “We had great feedback from these meetings and are looking forward to working closely together in the future,” he said. “The event will be a champion for the entire Papua New Guinea resources sector, so it was important that we meet with professionals and decision-makers from across the local industry.” The format for two-day exhibition will feature over 100 displays of equipment and stands, while the conference will showcase experts from across the mining and resources sector presenting on challenges and opportunities for the local industry. The event is an opportunity to hear from landowners, as well as government, mining, energy, petroleum and infrastructure representative on topics of productivity, safety, sustainability, and innovation in technology and equipment. “The PNG Expo will be the platform to engage and drive transformative changes towards a sustainable future,” Chartres said. “Our mission is to equip the industry with the right tools.” Leaders in delivering productivity solutions will be exhibiting at the event to present their innovative technology, showcasing how they can benefit the Papua New Guinea mining industry. “We know productivity and efficiency is a huge driver of future success in Papua New Guinea,” Chartres said. “We can’t wait to see the solutions that are available being demonstrated at the event in July.” The Prime Creative Media events team is ready to launch an event that will help grow the Papua New Guinea resources industry like never before.
February 22, 2024
The PNG Industrial & Mining Resources Exhibition and Conference set to be bigger and better in 2024. The PNG Industrial & Mining Resources Exhibition and Conference (PNG Expo) is the premier event that brings together all sectors of the industrial, mining and resources industries into one location to create a marketplace where business is done. Held from July 3–4, the PNG Expo, now under new ownership with Prime Creative Media, is set to see significant improvements this year. With a strong history in mining, manufacturing and associated industries, Prime Creative Media CEO John Murphy is confident that its business is an ideal match to help grow the Papua New Guinean industries. “We are excited to bring our extensive knowledge and expertise to PNG Industrial and Mining Resources Exhibition and Conference,” said Murphy. Prime Creative Media is committed to investing the time and resources needed to grow this event and the broader Papua New Guinea industries. To this end, the PNG Expo will be held in the Stanley Hotel in Port Moresby, a venue selected not just for its sophistication, but to limit travel and prioritise guest comfort. A gated complex designed to enhance guest safety, the Stanley Hotel features air-conditioning and multi-layered security protocols to provide a comfortable backdrop to the event’s strong conference format. “We have received really positive feedback from the industry so far,” show director Lauren Chartres said. “We’re excited to see this event moving to a new phase of development and bringing additional value to the Papua New Guinea resources sector.” Prime Creative Media is excited to bring an event that celebrates the people of Papua New Guinea as well as the industries that keep the country moving. Murphy travelled to the Pacific nation in October 2023 to meet with government delegates and heads of top miners in the country ahead of the event. “We had great feedback from these meetings and are looking forward to working closely together in the future,” he said. “The event will be a champion for the entire Papua New Guinea resources sector, so it was important that we meet with professionals and decision-makers from across the local industry.” The format for two-day exhibition will feature over 100 displays of equipment and stands, while the conference will showcase experts from across the mining and resources sector presenting on challenges and opportunities for the local industry. The event is an opportunity to hear from landowners, as well as government, mining, energy, petroleum and infrastructure representative on topics of productivity, safety, sustainability, and innovation in technology and equipment. “The PNG Expo will be the platform to engage and drive transformative changes towards a sustainable future,” Chartres said. “Our mission is to equip the industry with the right tools.” Leaders in delivering productivity solutions will be exhibiting at the event to present their innovative technology, showcasing how they can benefit the Papua New Guinea mining industry. “We know productivity and efficiency is a huge driver of future success in Papua New Guinea,” Chartres said. “We can’t wait to see the solutions that are available being demonstrated at the event in July.” The Prime Creative Media events team is ready to launch an event that will help grow the Papua New Guinea resources industry like never before.

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