Place your Ad Here!

PNG's Trade has Potential: Eoe

by PNG Business News - July 21, 2021

Papua New Guinea, according to Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Trade Soroi Eoe, has enormous potential to grow into a first-class economy in the Asia-Pacific.

During the introduction of the National Trade Office's (NTO) business plan 2021-2025, he stated that PNG has a lively and expanding population that may generate enough demand for local goods and services.

“Our proximity with Asia, the Pacific and Australia, positions us as an attractive trading partner.

“We, therefore, have to leverage such opportunities for the development of our country.”

He gave the example of the Ihu Special Economic Zone in the Gulf's Kikori district, which received K100 million in government support.

PNG will be able to become an "internationally competitive export-driven economy founded on and assisted by an increasing and efficient domestic market," according to the corporate strategy.

“I urge all trade actors, regulators, the private sectors and all other departments and institutions of government to support and work with NTO,” Eoe said.



The National (15 July 2021). “PNG has top-class trade potential: Eoe”.

Related Articles


PNG Business News - March 09, 2021


The Australia Papua New Guinea Business Council and the Business Council of Papua New Guinea are pleased to be re-launching the 36th Australia Papua New Guinea Business Forum and Trade Expo, which was deferred from 2020 to 24 to 26 May 2021. For the first time ever, this event will be held concurrently in Brisbane (at the Royal International Convention Centre), Port Moresby (at Hilton Port Moresby Hotel) and also online, with a shared speaking program. The Forum theme for this year is “Reimagining the Future Papua New Guinea”. The theme aims to capture the important message that Australia and Papua New Guinea along with the rest of the world, must move and pivot with the times and circumstances in order to prosper. It also looks to advance discussion about greater diversity in the PNG economy.  Coronavirus and all its related restrictions and issues, along with advancements in technology mean that we must, collectively, think of different ways to work in trade, economy and indeed life. Online connectivity appears to be one of the important forms of communication that will continue for the foreseeable future. This Forum is distinctly established as the leading annual bilateral business meeting between Australia and Papua New Guinea, and builds on the work both Councils have done over more than three decades in growing the bilateral business relationship. The program for the Forum includes an overview of the political and economic climate, particularly issues which affect business and investment, and will include specific sessions by expert presenters on topics such as the Covid-19 Pandemic, emerging economic business opportunities in PNG, agribusiness, infrastructure, SME growth, Papua New Guineans in the Australian labour market, and resources.  Key government ministers from Australia and Papua New Guinea, and a range of other expert speakers, have been invited to address the Forum to inform business representatives of policy issues in their portfolio relevant to business, and they will be able to join us from whichever location they are in, whether Brisbane, Port Moresby or elsewhere. Delegates will be able to engage in lively interaction with presenters in most sessions either live in person, or via the online platform with a Q&A feature. Video recordings of presentations will become available online soon after they are given so that delegates may go back and revisit portions they may have missed. There is something in the program for just about anyone who has an interest in the bilateral business and economic relationship and in the economy of Papua New Guinea. Delegates will be able to connect via the online platform by sending messages and/or booking appointment times with each other, particularly if they are not attending the Forum at the same venue. The Forum will again feature a Trade Expo for Australian and Papua New Guinean companies wishing to use the opportunity to match their goods and services to clients and purchasers in each country, and to broaden their business relationship. An innovative development this year is that all the trade booths will be online, with a limited number of physical booths at each location (as well as online) due to Covid restrictions. Booth exhibitors will be able to display their corporate logo, upload documents and short videos for visitors, include links to their own website, and chat one-on-one with delegates online, who can request meeting times with them via the online platform. This is a new, exciting and pioneering way to do things, and we will endeavour to have answers for you immediately should you encounter any problems while using the online platform. Register early for this conference as in-person spots at each location are limited and demand will be heavy.  To register, complete the online booking process at  Please take care to show where/how you wish to participate. There are many new features that we will be introducing during this Forum as we look to resume regular business to business engagement, which has been so disrupted during the last year. This is a very good value conference. Enquiries about registration, Trade Expo bookings and accommodation should be directed to the secretariat of the Australia Papua New Guinea Business Council, on telephone + 61 7 3348 5142 or by e-mail at or to the Business Council of Papua New Guinea on telephone + 675 323 8465, fax + 675 323 5162 or by e-mail at We look forward to hosting you at the 36th Australia Papua New Guinea Business Forum and Trade Expo on 24-26 May 2021, whether in Brisbane, Port Moresby, or Online.


PNG Business News - April 23, 2021

Yakam: Restrictions on Trade to Affect PNG

A government official is worried that the country will suffer significant consequences as a result of the foreign trade restrictions. The decline in domestic demand, according to acting chief trade officer Richard Yakam, has already been felt. Yakam praised the government for announcing the reopening of the Porgera mine but added that the other major projects in the pipeline would help the economy recover to a more optimistic outlook. “In terms of international trade, the production level has reduced,” he said. “I received news from the world trade organisations (WTO) that some of the countries have decided to enforce export restrictions of food products like rice because they are more concerned about the domestic population.” He said that this is a topic that is being debated on a global scale, with countries imposing export restrictions. Since their domestic production is declining, they do not want to export, especially staple products. “So it’s becoming a food security issue and concern for everybody. It will greatly affect those countries that depend mainly on imported goods,” said Yakam. “Currently, discussions are going on amongst the relevant government agencies but, I don’t know how it will be concluded.” He believed that if countries curb their exports, it would have a significant effect.


PNG Business News - July 08, 2021

Pacific Trade Invest Australia Assists 109 PNG Firms

Pacific Trade Invest Australia has assisted 109 firms in PNG, 47 of which are managed or controlled by women, facilitating K2 million in exports and K45,519 (A$17,120) in investment transactions. This was just reported in the Pacific Trade Invest annual report 2020. Caleb Jarvis, PTI Australia's Trade and Investment Commissioner, stated in the annual report: “Within a week, we reconfigured our programs across trade, investment, tourism and labour mobility to virtual and hybrid formats, finding new ways to help businesses – like access to digital resources. “Collaborating with our global PTI network and 25 partners then allowed us to deliver $20.04 million in exports and $2.73m in investments. “We’ve fostered private sector sales to the Australian market and helped drive inter-regional trade, and initiatives like our Impact Support Program have provided businesses with the tools they need to adapt, maintain and expand their operations. “In a year where COVID-19 closed international borders, interrupted trade routes and caused devastating financial effects on the people and economies of the Blue Pacific, we pivoted to support 582 businesses across 16 countries in 2020, almost one-third of which were women-led businesses.” In a session with journalists covering the COVID-19 economy, Jarvis revealed that according to the May 2021 Pacific Business Monitor, women are having a harder time than men, with 56 per cent of female businesses reporting barriers that prevent them from implementing initiatives to support their businesses, compared to 47 per cent of male businesses. Businesses are surviving by decreasing operating expenses and working hours, according to him, while 50% of companies are establishing new income sources. “We’ve also worked in the creative industry space for a lot of years. My passion project has been helping to export bilum from PNG to international markets because we know generating a little bit of income goes a very long way for some of those women and they are women in need as well. “I’m thankful to the international distributors that we’ve been working with throughout Covid-19 as they have continued to buy a lot of bilum, in particular, that‘s the one that I’m closest to,” he said. PTI has partnered with three worldwide distributors to offer PNG bilums in Australia: Among equals, Bilum & Bilas, and Real Impact. “Importantly we’ve learnt that the impact on each country and on each business was different and unique. And as someone said to me, whilst the Pacific was all caught up in the same storm, each country was trapped in its own unique boat. Pacific island people have been extremely resilient by relying heavily on their families and communities and there is a strong need for further diversification and especially for those countries and communities that rely heavily on tourism.”   Reference: Yafoi, Melisha. Post-Courier (7 July 2021). “PNG Business Exports Aided By PTI Earn K2M”.

Recent Articles

Oil and Gas

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”.

Join Papua New Guinea's

Business Community

Be the "First" to get our exclusive Digital Magazine & Weekly Newsletter.