Grants Benefit Farmers and Women
by PNG Business News - March 09, 2021
The grants coursed through the Bougainville partnership commodity support facility will benefit cocoa farmers and women.
An initiative of the Autonomous Bougainville Government supported by Australia through the PNG-Australia partnership, and the New Zealand government, the grants range between K300,000 and K500,000 benefitting.
Some of those selected include Kukurina Business Group which will use the grant to improve crop quality and rehabilitate cocoa blocks, among others. Jonathan Kopas head this group, with support from treasurer Larry Augustine, secretary Hilda Kopa and vice-secretary Peninah James.
Meanwhile, Australian High Commission’s counsellor for Bougainville Clayton Harrington said that obvious were the economic benefits of the programme. “Australia believes in the future of the Bougainville cocoa industry to improve livelihoods,” he said.
PNG Business News - March 19, 2021
NRI: Bougainville has Vast Mineral Potential
According to the National Research Institute, given Bougainville's position within the Pacific Rim of Fire, the possibilities for mining various minerals, especially gold and copper, are vast (NRI). Following the collapse of the Panguna mine, NRI noted in a recent report on Bougainville that regaining foreign investor trust in mining in Bougainville was proving difficult. “Even more difficult is the effective management of the revenues from the sale of public resources such as minerals, forestry and fishing, which has long been a challenging problem for developing countries,” the report highlighted. “The primary management problem has been with the effective expenditure of resource revenues. Therefore, a major issue for discussion in Bougainville should be on whether institutional arrangements can be devised that will ensure that the resource revenues collected by the ABG – from, say, fishing, forestry or mining – will be put to good use in developing the economy.” It continued, “We have argued for a management system where a share of mineral rents are directly paid to the public in the form of compensation for the sale of their asset. This has several advantages, including the fact that such transfers will bind the public across space and generations, concentrate attention on the returns from publicly owned assets, and create economic spillovers in the form of increased output and revenues for the budget. The model used in Alaska to manage the collection and distribution of its oil and gas revenues seems to be very worthy of consideration by Bougainville. This regime establishes a political constituency with an interest in protecting the revenues from corruption, waste, and so forth. If Bougainville is to adopt a policy of this kind, the nature of politics dictates that it should be done as soon as possible. Otherwise, if an alternative policy is adopted, it will be impossible to dismantle later as it will have formed its own constituency by then.”
PNG Business News - April 08, 2021
The United Kingdom an Active Participant in Bougainville's Development
The United Kingdom is the main contributor to the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund, which funds programs in Bougainville and the Highlands region of Papua New Guinea. Last week, British High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea Keith Scott said that the United Kingdom, as a Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council, regularly engages in negotiations on Bougainville and offers support and other assistance through UN and other international development agencies. “We provided K425,000 for the UN Post-Referendum Support Project, with potentially up to another K1 million available, including for Bougainville’s economic development,” High Commissioner Scott said. Since 2018, the government has contributed more than K160 million to Papua New Guinea by key donations to multilateral such as the World Bank (International Development Association), the EU, UN organizations, and the Global Fund (OECD figures). And there's their separate assistance to Bougainville, which they've provided over the years. “The UK, as Permanent Member of the UN Security Council, participates actively in discussions on Bougainville,” he said. “We have sent observers for the independence referendum and contributed K450,000 to the UN Referendum Support Project. We have also sponsored two study tours to the UK in 2016 for leading representatives from PNG and Bougainville governments to learn about the post-conflict political settlement in Northern Ireland and the autonomy arrangements in Scotland.” He added, “We have also arranged two visits to Bougainville by former Minister for Presidential Affairs for South Sudan and former member of the Irish Republican Army to discuss their experiences of engaging with peace processes. We sponsored a peacebuilding forum in Arawa in March 2019 for 60 participants and we have assisted with K45,000 to fund Women’s Safe House in Haku, Bougainville.”
PNG Business News - March 19, 2021
Early Investments are Critical to Expanding Bougainville's Tax Base
According to a study by the National Research Institute (NRI), the investments needed to increase the tax base for the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) require significant upfront investments. The report said that increasing revenues for the Bougainville Government, public expenditures also necessitate capacity to prepare, budget, execute, and track them: Bougainville is on the verge of collapsing. “And absent such large and lumpy investments early, Bougainville will not be able to acquire fiscal independence,” it said. “ABG will need foreign funds and expatriate expertise to create the conditions for a transition to economic independence. Bougainville will need visionary leadership and considered support from the PNG Government. There is hope on both these fronts. Bougainville is rich in natural resources and can use that to attract foreign investments for technology transfer, capital injection, employment generation, market access and exports. Several water fishing nations are already operating in Bougainville waters. Attracting a foreign investor to engage in onshore tuna processing, as undertaken in Wewak on the mainland and across in the Solomon Islands, has the potential to generate much needed formal sector employment. Richer still are the known mineral deposits that have the potential to attract foreign investment. But that would be tricky given the history of Bougainville Copper Ltd, and the issues of the compensation for the environmental damage done and compensation for the decade-long conflict. Leadership and planning is necessary to navigate these obstacles to restarting the mine, that could boost revenues for the budget and provide returns to the people who ultimately own the resources.” According to the report, Bougainville should concentrate on: Introducing land administration systems and town planning; Enhancing contract protection, including land titles, mining leases, and potential income from private investment; and Lowering sovereign risk with regard to investments in Bougainville in relation to the rest of PNG.
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PNG Business News - August 12, 2022
Going Green: FAO-led EU-STREIT PNG Programme provides green-powered facility to local agricultural authorities to effectively service rural farmers
EU Funded UN Joint STREIT Programme in Papua New Guinea establishes a renewable energy-powered facility to support local government authorities in East Sepik Province, in delivering effective services to rural farmers and entrepreneurs. With generous support of the European Union, the FAO-led EU STREIT Programme officially opened a new 3 cluster office building on 10 August 2022, to host the Programme along with the East Sepik provincial divisions of Agriculture and Livestock, Cocoa Board and the National Agriculture Quarantine & Inspection Authority. The new-look office building is powered by 189 solar panels, which significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduces the collective dependence on fossil fuel. The solar panels supply the building with 90 KW of energy, relieving the resident agencies and authorities from relying on fossil-generated electricity for their needs, including lighting, ICT, water pumping, and temperature control. This zero-carbon-emission facility has the capacity to accommodate around 90 experts, technicians and extension service officers. Equipped with 120 batteries, the building can support staff’s operation for 36 hours in case of experiencing high cloud cover. The building, currently co-resided by the Programme and provincial agricultural bodies, will be transferred over to the East Sepik Provincial Administration at the end of the Programme and will continue to provide a sustainable base for sustainable support to agriculture-related services in the Province. Officiating the opening ceremony, His Excellency Ambassador Jernej Videtič, Head of the European Union Delegation to PNG, in his address, said: “I am happy to be here and to see that things are moving in the right direction to bring sustainable benefits to the people of East Sepik” Ambassador Videtič further highlighted that “with resources from the citizens of Europe to fund the EU-STREIT Programme in providing training, tools and support, the quantity and quality of cocoa, vanilla and fisheries products will increase. The objective is also to protect these quality products in international markets under the EU-STREIT introduced initiative of Geographical Indication.” The East Sepik Acting Deputy Provincial Administrator, Mr James Baloiloi, in his speech expressed his appreciation to the EU for funding the EU-STREIT Programme and the interventions that the Programme is doing in East Sepik and Sandaun provinces. “The STREIT Programme has gone ahead to introduce a culture of agribusiness that now enables the people of this Province and the people of Sandaun Province to have cash income that can sustain their livelihoods.” Mr Baloiloi added, “this infrastructure and building supports us and facilitates the service delivery to our people in this Province as well as Sandaun Province.” Thanking the EU for its generous funding support, Dr Xuebing Sun, the EU-STREIT Programme Coordinator, said: “the Programme has generated substantial impacts at beneficiary, local institutions and enabling business environment levels. This would not be possible with good partnership, increased ownerships and leaderships of the governments and implementing partners.” “This co-residing and close co-operation among UN agencies and their national partners in this integrated space reflect the partnership approach taken by the Programme to sustainably develop agri-enterprise activities in the region,” added Dr Xuebing Sun, adding “the new climate-friendly facility, which is fully powered by solar energy, also provides a space to welcome, advise and serve the farmers, including interested women and youth, who play very important roles along agri-food value chains”. “This kind of ‘green investment’ enables a shift to a more green economy for local institutions and infrastructure to meet cocoa, vanilla and fishery value chains stakeholders” advised Anthony Bennett, the FAO Lead Technical Officer of the EU-STREIT PNG Programme. United Nations’ implementing partners supporting the FAO-led EU-STREIT PNG present in the office include the International Labour Organization (ILO), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The EU-STREIT PNG is being implemented as a UN Joint Programme (FAO as leading agency, and ILO, ITU, UNCDF and UNDP as implementing partners), is the largest grant-funded Programme of the European Union in the Country and the Pacific region. It focuses on increasing sustainable and inclusive economic development of rural areas through increasing the economic returns and opportunities from cocoa, vanilla and fishery value chains and strengthening and improving the efficiency of value chain enablers, including the business environment and supporting sustainable, climate-proof transport and energy infrastructure development.
Paul Oeka - August 12, 2022
CPAPNG annual meet to discuss global changes
Certified Practicing Accountants of Papua New Guinea will be hosting their 23rd annual conference with about 400 participants nationwide expected to attend the two day conference organized by CPA PNG in Lae Morobe Province from August 18 to19, 2022 CPAPNG was established in 1974 and has come a long way with a lot of achievements along the way. Over the years its membership grew from mere numbers to just below 2000 which includes 40% locals and 60% non-citizens. . The CPA PNG conference is one of CPAs three significant annual events on their calendar with this year's conference theme; Is PNG prepared for the recession?" The conference will see certain key leaders in executive management roles from both the public and private sector delivering presentations in line with the conference theme. CPA PNG's Executive Director Mr. Yuwak Tau said the theme of the conference was selected because there was a decline in the global economy and the general so when that eventuates small economies tend to be affected. He added that they have basically selected the theme that was current and appropriate so that members would find relevance during the course of the conference. “The meeting is to create intellectual and interactive discussions with seasoned business leaders to present and share their ideas and experiences to find probable outcomes within their business environment and industries in times of economic uncertainty”. Some of the topics to be presented by consultants are current significant issues such as crypto currency, transport pricing, bit coin block chain technology and stress management. This were some topics that people have heard about but have not really ventured into. Mr. Tau added that it would be quite hard to measure the benefits immediately but the participants will be able to look at insights shared during the conference that would be appropriate in the areas of employment, accounting, finance, auditing and others. The conference will create an environment where participants can also share information so That they can take points to apply in their work place and industries. In relation the Kumul petroleum Holdings had also presented a cheque of K50, 000 to support the coming event at their head office. The cheque was presented by KPHL's executive General Manager Corporate Affairs, Luke Liria and was received by CPA PNG Chairman Richard Kuna. Mr. Liria said KPHL has appreciated the effort put in by CPA PNG to ensure that its members in State owned enterprises and the private sector were given appropriate level of training and as part of KPHL's corporate social responsibility and commitment they hope that their support will continue to help the organization facilitate and make sure the accounting practices is of international standards. CPA PNG's Chairman, Richard Kuna acknowledged KPHL for their support and stated that he was looking forward to seeing KPHL being a big part of the upcoming conference.
Paul Oeka - August 12, 2022
BSP: Small to Medium Enterprises Loans reaches 60% rate.
Bank South Pacific's Financial Group Ltd Chief executive officer Mr. Robin Fleming has recently announced that the bank has granted more than K200 million as loans to small to medium enterprises under its credit scheme facility that the then Marape government had released to the bank to support Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) and local businesses during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Fleming said about 1523 customer loans have been approved, that is about 60% of loan approval rates since 2019. Prior to this announcement BSP and the Department of Commerce and Industry (DCI) had agreed to increase the maximum loan under the small-to-medium enterprise (SME) credit enhancement facility to K5 million. The previous limit was K3 million when the Government first released K100 million as security to the bank under its K200 million SME allocation for BSP to rollout the loan facility last year. Fleming stated that even though they have exhausted and rolled out the bulk of the governments relief funds for SME's they will still be running the SME loan program under its credit facility scheme “At this stage, BSP has not received the funding planned for this year but that is not preventing BSP from giving loans under the facility”. “There remains significant capacity for BSP to continue to assess, approve and funds loans under the facility”. “The agreement with the Government did provide for momentum in the SME facility to be maintained while allowing for the Government budget and funding process to be adhered to”. As part of the government SME relief funding, Commercial Banks were allocated K200 million with BSP Financial Group receiving K100 million, NDB K80 million and another K20 million was allocated to the department of Commerce and Industry BSP could not comment on how the National Development Bank (NDB) is dealing with the K80 million it received, but the intent, when discussions were initiated, was that BSP would be lending to more mature SMEs and NDB to startup ventures. In addition to enabling SMEs to access lower cost of funds through the facility with BSP, the bank has also made it a responsibility to ensure that Government funding is preserved by not approving loans that have a higher risk of default.