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PNG Vanilla Company Partners Expo2020 Team
by PNG Business News - June 15, 2021
Dr. Nancy Irwin (left) with the Deputy Commissioner General for Expo2020 and Head of the PNG Expo2020 Secretariat, Mrs. Jacinta Warakai-Manua began the partnership to tell the PNG Vanilla story in Dubai, by exchanging ideas in Port Moresby last week.
A vanilla production and export company is partnering with the PNG Expo2020 Team to promote their products in the Dubai World Exposition that starts in October this year.
KAMAPIM, a company working with landowners in the Madang and Morobe Provinces produces top quality vanilla beans and is already exporting to the EU market.
The Managing Director of the company Dr. Nancy Irwin, met with the PNG Commissioner General to Expo2020 Ambassador Joshua Kalinoe and his Deputy Mrs. Jacinta Warakai-Manua in Port Moresby last week to firm up the arrangements.
Dr. Irwin said Kamapim (pidgin for develop and to improve) concentrates its efforts in producing the best quality bean for the international market through quality assurance production methods.
“PNG farmers can grow anything, they have instinctive ability to grow well any crops. When I first started the project, the quality of the beans were poor, full of fungus due to lack of processing knowledge. We saw huge potential of the organically grown beans and started working with landowners through a cooperative production and marketing structure to improve quality”
“The company provide extension services to farmers and buy the beans directly, ensuring farmers are paid a fair price for their efforts”, she said.
Dr Irwin said the beans are tested internationally and are consistently classed as the top-quality A grade level.
“While PNG has a good perception of growing environment friendly organic vanilla beans, the challenge is for the relevant Government authorities to work with farmers to improve quality. I believe the cooperative production methods applied by our company, Kamapim, could be used nationally as one of the models to improve quality for the export market as well as to maximize revenue gain for farmers”, Dr. Irwin said.
She said the company is looking forward to partnering with the PNG Expo2020 Team to tell the PNG story and to connect with niche importers in Dubai and the Arab world in general.
Dr. Irwin said the company would promote its products in specially branded PNG Expo2020 containers to create visibility for the country as well as to preserve quality at the company’s cost.
PNG Business News - June 23, 2021
Innovative Agro Industry joins expo2020 to tell the PNG story in Dubai
Papua New Guinea’s food production company, Innovative Agro Industry (IAI) is the latest company to join the PNG Expo2020 team to tell our story. The company is the only fresh milk and dairy producer in country, and also invests in fresh vegetable production among many other projects, including the frozen potato chips brand; KUK. The Kuk name is taken from the famous Kuk UNESCO heritage site in the Western Highlands Province. Potatoes are sourced from local out growers before being processed at a state of the art factory located in Pangia. Kuk Kaukau (sweet potato) was recently launched into the market place, adding to the growing list of high quality Kuk products. Managing Director of the company Mr Ilan Weiss said apart from promoting the company’s food products, they will also share the story of the origin of the Kuk heritage site. “The Kuk brand of frozen kaukau and potato chips is produced from the highlands region of Papua New Guinea. “Kuk is a UNESCO heritage site, where archaeological evidence has discovered that Papua New Guineans are said to be the first prehistory agriculture famers, well before other societies in areas like Europe got into organised farming” Mr Weiss said. “We will also be telling the world that with the application of appropriate technology and utilizing the traditional environment friendly agriculture methods applied by Papua New Guinea small holder/family farmers, PNG can produce some of the best products, including processed organically grown products. “This is also evident from our fresh Ilimo dairy products where the company produce milk and other dairy products like yogurts and ice cream from locally bred cow, using modern technology”. “Unlike the UHT milk that is imported where some nutrients are destroyed in the process. The Ilimo farm milk is fresh milk, comes straight from the cow, making it one of the nutrition rich milk to drink,” he said. He said the milk from Ilimo goes through quality assurance each day at their laboratory before being cleared and certified within internationally accepted health standards by health and food nutrition experts in the company’s laboratory at 14 Mile, outside Port Moresby. Mr Weiss said the company is also investing in aquaculture in the Western Province for the export market and also in cocoa production and processing in the East Sepik Province. “The company is expanding because we have confidence in the ability of Papua New Guinea farmers to produce the best environment friendly organic products that can be supported by modern extension and production technology. “This is the story we are taking to the Dubai Exposition where the world will meet, exchange ideas and make trade and other related connections. “We thank the Government, through the Commissioner General of Expo2020, HE Ambassador Joshua Kalinoe for inviting our company to join in telling the PNG story”. Mr Weiss said.
PNG Business News - June 28, 2021
Vice Minister Richard Masere to Provide Political Oversight on Expo2020 Dubai
To ensure the success of PNG’s participation in Expo2020 in Dubai, UAE, the Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has tasked the Vice Minister Assisting him on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Hon. Richard Masere to provide political leadership, guidance and support. The World Expo is of substantial national interest to PNG, and the Prime Minister’s engagement has been well received. Vice Minister Masere was briefed on expo preparations to date, by the core group of the National Coordination Committee, led by the Commissioner General for Expo2020, Ambassador Joshua Kalinoe. He was accompanied by key members of the Task Force on FDI, including Special Economic Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Commerce & Industry Dulciana Somare and Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on FDI, Ambassador Gabriel Dusava. Vice Minister Masere expressed satisfaction on the preparations and gave an undertaking to work closely with the Expo Secretariat and the National Organising Committee to ensure that we achieve an appropriate return on investment from the programs and projects being developed. With just under 100 days until the official opening of the World Expo, the PNG pavilion contents and interior design will be completed in the next two weeks and the container with display and commercial materials will depart for Dubai on 1 July. PNG intends to use its presence at the expo to attract investment in agriculture, resources, construction, manufacturing, financial services, and renewable energy. It will be an opportunity to showcase the PNG story. “Expo2020 is participative in nature. PNG will be given the opportunity to tell its story, in business, government, SMEs, academia, the arts, culture, tradition and heritage. It will reflect on the beauty and diversity of our great nation, highlighting our tourism industry. There are several theme weeks throughout the 6-month expo program - each representing an opportunity to present PNG in a different light.” The Prime Minister is expected to address members of the Business Council and Manufacturing Council, to encourage support and participation at this prestigious event. Vice Minister Masere said apart from the individual and company participation, the Investment Promotion Authority will also stage weekly roadshows through out the exposition period, promoting the packaged projects and other business opportunities from the private sector and SMEs. “Participation of Expo2020 in Dubai, is as a whole-of-Government NEC approved national event targeted to tell the PNG story, where 200 countries will come together to connect, exchange ideas, tell their respective stories and develop practical investment prospects. Accordingly, the Government will adequately resource and fund our participation as well as continue to provide appropriate political oversight,” Vice Minister Masere said.
PNG Business News - July 22, 2021
Oil Search Considering Merging with Santos
Santos, an Australian oil firm, announced its plan to combine with Oil Search Limited. Santos proposed a non-binding indicative merger last month with the goal of making the two companies the regional energy champions. The proposed merged entity has a market capitalization of A$22 billion (K56 billion), putting it among the top 20 ASX-listed companies and the top 20 global oil and gas companies. This means, among other things, that the merger will have a diverse portfolio of high-quality, long-life assets spanning Australia and Papua New Guinea, a solid balance sheet with ample cash to support expansion choices, and an investment-grade credit rating. The merger plan, if approved, would be conducted through a Scheme of Arrangement in which Oil Search shareholders would receive 0.589 new Santos shares for each Oil Search share held, according to Santos in a market disclosure to the Australian Stock Exchange. Following the scheme's acceptance, Oil Search shareholders would control 37% of the combined company, while Santos shareholders would own 63%. Based on Santos' closing price on June 24, 2021, the ownership ratio suggested a transaction price of A$4.25 (10.92) per Oil Search share. This was a 12.3% premium to the Oil Search closing price of A$3.78 (K9.72) on June 24, 2021, and a 9.8% premium to the Mubadala block trade selling price of A$3865. (K9.92). Kevin Gallagher, managing director and chief executive officer of Santos, said the merger will bring more alignment to PNG, allowing for the development of important projects such as Papua LNG, as well as the creation of new employment and support for the local economy. Santos, according to Gallagher, has proposed a true merger in which ownership of the combined firm is based on proportionate contribution and value. “The strategic rationale for a merger is clear and offers superior value to Oil Search shareholders rather than continuing on a standalone basis. “Santos continues to believe that the Merger Proposal represents an extremely attractive opportunity to deliver compelling value accretion to both Santos and Oil Search shareholders.” Oil Search stated in its ASX market update that it is open to receiving and engaging with any proposal that is in the best interests of its shareholders. While the company's board of directors agrees with Santos that combining the two firms makes strategic sense, the conditions must be fair to the company's shareholders, which the terms proposed by Santos are not. Despite Santos shareholders holding 70% more shares than Oil Search shareholders, Oil Search maintains that the proposed conditions provide just a 6.8% premium based on Friday's closing share prices for Oil Search and Santos. According to the firm, no such proposal has been made at this time. Reference: Post-Courier (21 July 2021). "Oil Search Open To Merger with Santos".
PNG Business News - July 21, 2021
Study Says Sweet Potato Growers Have Received Significant Insights into Customers Buying Habits
In Papua New Guinea (PNG), sweet potato (kaukau) growers have received significant insight into customer buying habits, which is assisting them in identifying new market possibilities. The recent market analysis, which was supported by the Papua New Guinea-Australia Partnership and conducted by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, revealed that an increasing number of consumers in Port Moresby prefer to buy fresh produce from supermarkets, citing convenience and safety as reasons. While this trend may result in fewer consumers at conventional farmer markets, PNG and Australian experts believe it may open up new marketplaces for rural people. “Farmers are looking for stable markets where they can receive more consistent prices for better-quality produce,” said Professor Philip Brown from Central Queensland University (CQU), who is leading the research project. “The research shows that consumer behaviour is likely to support an expansion in the supermarket sector in large urban centres and this is positive news for the farmers. This could allow commercial focused farmers to secure more stable market access.” The study of 353 customers was conducted as part of ACIAR-funded sweet potato research sponsored by CQU and the PNG National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI), which aims to improve sweet potato value chains by increasing the quality of harvested roots. Sweet potato quality and production are improving, resulting in increasing supplies to retailers eager to provide better fresh produce. “The project, with support from the Fresh Produce Development Agency and NARI, is helping farmers to build their business skills and connect with emerging supermarket opportunities,” said Professor Brown. Kirt Hainzer, a CQU researcher who collaborated on the survey alongside NARI researchers, said it was the first study to look at customer behaviour and see what role stores may play in the development of PNG's commercial sweet potato sector. “The research sought to better understand and compare how consumers buy staples from open markets and supermarkets and to explore the preferences for purchasing staple foods as supermarkets increase the availability of convenience staples like rice,” said Hainzer. “Although expanding formal sales represents a huge step forward in developing a commercial sweet potato industry, continued research on consumer preferences and the market for fresh produce will help better understand trends in staple food purchasing and what market opportunities exist for growers.” With over a hundred kinds of sweet potato in the nation, NARI economist Raywin Ovah said the study sought to find out which of these customers preferred. “Not all the varieties are preferred from a consumer point of view. There are only a few that consumers want to be based on the taste or health properties and that is what we want to also find out. Farmers can be provided with that information, so they produce those varieties that the market wants.” One of five initiatives under the Transformative Agriculture and Enterprise Development Program is a project to increase commercial sweet potato production and commercialization in the PNG highlands. The ACIAR program, which is funded by Australia in collaboration with the government of Papua New Guinea, aims to improve the livelihoods of rural men and women through private sector-led development, increased agricultural productivity and quality, and the development of individual and institutional capacity. Reference: Loop (20 July 2021). “Study looks into sweet potato industry”.
PNG Business News - July 21, 2021
Garry: MRA Evaluating K50 Billion Worth of Investments
According to managing director Jerry Garry, the Mineral Resources Authority is evaluating more than K50 billion in investments in the country. Wafi-Golpu, Frieda River, and Woodlark are among them. “We are also looking at the Central Lime and Cement,” he said. “If that project comes on-stream, it will be one of the first industrial mines ever built in the country.” Garry was speaking at a Port Moresby consultation session on the Mine and Works (Safety and Health) Bill 2021. PNG, he added, was home to some of the world's largest mines. “We have grown from strength to strength,” he said. “If you compare the Bank of PNG statistics, the mining sector alone, in terms of production, has exported over K17 billion in 2020 and 2019. “So it’s a huge industry that we are trying to regulate and manage.” Garry expressed gratitude to the industry for making safety a primary priority. “They have been taking health and safety at the workplaces very seriously,” he said. “We must not only consider (the workers) and the environment but also people living around the (areas) we operate in. “And if we are using any hazards, we must also take responsibility.” The newest mining methods in Wafi-Golpu, known as block cave mining, are one of the new things to expect, according to Garry. “New mining hazards will come with this new mining method,” he said. Reference: The National (20 July 2021). “Authority assessing investments worth K50bil”.