Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to Strengthen Economy, Says Marape
by PNG Business News - October 31, 2022
Photo: James Marape
According to Prime Minister James Marape, commercial agriculture, fisheries, and forestry will be used to strengthen the rural economy of the nation.
Marape stated that a strong agricultural foundation was a goal of the government.
“Growing the rural economy through agriculture presents many opportunities,” he said.
“We must explore commercial agriculture, unlock land, and look to open new markets for our products.”
“The Government will maintain the commodity price support and freight subsidy programmes, both of which have had enormous impacts on the growth of the agricultural sector.
“But we must build economic infrastructure to unlock the potential of rural areas and build market systems through digital platforms so that our people can trade more seamlessly in an increasingly integrated global marketplace.”
According to Marape, the government has also created a long-term plan for the growth of fisheries.
“The plan builds regulatory resilience, but importantly also provides very clear guidance on fisheries investment, and downstream processing,” he said.
As a Government, we must participate in the market directly and encourage downstream processing of all our marine products, not just tuna.
“And in forestry, we remain committed to stopping all round log exports by 2025 as a first industry to migrate to downstream processing.”
Reference: The National (25 October 2022). “Agriculture, fisheries and forestry crucial”.
PNG Business News - June 28, 2021
PM Marape urges SMEs to venture into agriculture
Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has pointed Papua New Guinea small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to agriculture as a space that they can move into. He said this when addressing the 3rd SME Business Breakfast at APEC Haus in Port Moresby on Friday (June 5th 2021) which also marked the end of SME Week. PM Marape said agriculture could supply domestic needs as well as export to other countries. He said PNG was the closest Pacific country to Asia, including Indonesia right next door, which had a population of 260 million. PM Marape said the majority of Indonesians were Muslims who ate beef. “I wonder why the grasslands of Sepik and Fly are doing nothing,” he said. “Those are places where we can raise beef (cattle) and supply to the 260 million Muslims next door.” PM Marape said the next 100 years would be the “Asian century” as the increasing population there needed more food, water and energy. He said PNG could follow the track of New Zealand in becoming a specialist food producer to supply the population of Asia. PM Marape pointed out the case of Fiji water, which was now sold around the world, and added PNG could do similar through organic food. “Organic food supply to niche markets in Asia can be a forte, can be a specialist area, going into the future,” he said. “Government will look at those concepts and work with the SME Corporation, for those who want to be innovative in the space of SMEs, whether in export-based businesses or domestic supply.”
PNG Business News - July 08, 2021
PM Marape calls on Japan, Australia and New Zealand to open ‘Economic Bubble’ with Pacific Island Nations
As part of their involvement in the battle against COVID-19, Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP has called on Japan, Australia, and New Zealand to open up an economic bubble with Pacific Island countries. During the 9th Pacific Alliance Leaders Meeting (PALM), which was held online, the Prime Minister made this request. COVID-19, he added, was not just a health issue but also an economic issue in the Pacific Islands at this point. “In Papua New Guinea we recognize that COVID-19 has had a strong negative impact on our economy,” Prime Minister Marape said. “Speaking on behalf of my 14 other sister nations in the Pacific, especially those who are dependent on tourism or external trade, dependent on fisheries, agriculture and the export of our raw resources, who are totally exposed to the ravages and the damage COVID-19 is causing to our local economies, so we need international trading and commerce for our economies to function. “Papua New Guinea, having recognized the need for our economy to be functional, has elevated our COVID-19 response by way of the passing of a specific Act of Parliament called the National Pandemic Act that defines how we live, work, operate and trade. “We have not closed our borders and we are still open for business to ensure our 10 million people survive COVID-19. “At this juncture, let me thank Japan for your continued interventions and interest in our small Pacific Island nations. They are totally vulnerable and exposed to the contraction of the global economy and the close of international borders. “Therefore I ask for your continued presence in helping us, not just in the area of health but more importantly, on how we can ensure trade and economy remains functional and relevant.” Prime Minister Marape has urged Japan, Australia, and New Zealand to assist Pacific Island nations in keeping their economies afloat by functioning in a special trade and economic bubble that will allow our economy to weather the storm. The Prime Minister also praised Japan's Prime Minister, Hon Yoshihide Suga, for his assistance to the area, as well as Australia, and New Zealand. Reference: Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council (2 July 2021). “PM Marape calls on Japan, Australia and New Zealand to open ‘Economic Bubble’ with P
PNG Business News - June 28, 2021
PM: SMEs Have Huge Role to Play
Small and medium businesses (SMEs) have a significant role in economic growth, according to Prime Minister Hon. James Marape. When addressing the 3rd SME Business Breakfast on Friday (June 25, 2021) to commemorate the end of SME Week, he also praised local SMEs for hosting PNG SME Week at APEC Haus in Port Moresby from June 21 to 25. “Thank you (SMEs) for what you have been doing this week,” PM Marape said. “Many nations globally are built on SMEs.” He used the example of neighbouring Indonesia, which has over 50 million SMEs, which he described as the economy's "engine room." PM Marape also mentioned New Zealand, which he visited last year and described as a country around the same size as PNG but with an economy based on SMEs. “New Zealand is a country almost the same land size as ours,” he said. “Their economy is really dependent on SMEs that are based around agriculture, tourism and cottage industries. “This is a place that we could source inspiration from. “Based on those small-scale, SME-based industries, they have a US$200 billion economy that keeps them running.” PM Marape stated that New Zealand's economy is built on agriculture, cattle, dairy, and marine resources, rather than large-scale mining, oil, and gas operations. “I believe in the propensity of our country to expand to an economy that is beyond US$200 million sizes, if not in the next 10 years, easily in the next 20 years we could get there,” he said. “That is simply because of the resource density we have in our country.” “When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” PM Marape remarked as the country went through difficult times. “Those who will be in the mainstream are those who want to capture opportunities that are available for them,” he said. “I speak to our local SMEs: There are opportunities available.” PM Marape stated that individuals working in the SME sector should know that “our Government is pro-business, pro-SME”. “We want to help Papua New Guineans and those that are resident in Papua New Guinea to get going in business,” he said. “We embrace businesses of all types because we are cognizant of the fact that success of business allows the economy of a country to be strong.” Reference: The Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council (26 June 2021). “PM Marape highlights important role of SMEs”.
PNG Business News - February 05, 2023
PNG Tourism Promotions Authority (TPA) and Bougainville TPA signs MOU
The Department of Commerce, Trade and Industry reached another milestone recently when it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Tourism and Promotions Authority (TPA). The MOU paves the way forward for both parties to continue bilateral partnership based on the understanding of tourism and promotions in Bougainville. The MOU was signed by the PNG TPA and the ABG Department of Commerce, Trade and Industry on the understanding relating to a joint partnership for the protection and preservation of tangible and intangible culture, development and promotion of tourism, contemporary culture and the arts and sustainable tourism in the autonomous region of Bougainville. ABG Vice President and Minister for Commerce Trade and Industry, Hon. Patrick Nisira (MHR) acknowledged the PNGTPA for its tremendous support so far since the first MoU was signed in 2016. The support has cemented many agreements already signed and has proven that Bougainville is truly a tourism destination that is worth investing time and money on. Mr. Nisira acknowledged the PNG TPA officers for their continuous negotiation with the Bougainville partners in pushing for significant income generating programmes to proceed in the region. “Standing here today it gives me great pleasure to witness and participate in this significant event that will go down in history books of this nation to be. We are here today to mark this important event on the signing of the MOU between my ministry and the department of national government and PNG Tourism Promotions Authority (PNG TPA).” This agreement adds value to our collective vision, ideas and consultations that the local tourism and cultural practitioners in both government and private sectors, he said. “As a way forward the agreement presents a realistic and workable approach to tourism development and its sustainability in the region.” “The MOU also sets out a framework for future development for tourism emphasizing on effective and determined and holistic approaches.” He said that the agreement generally outlines the pros and cons of tourism development in Bougainville and the framework and strategy of reaching the targeted goals and vision earmarked to reaching the overarching goals of economic building and development. Deputy Chief Secretary for Operations Anthony Koiri approved and signed the MOU on behalf of the Bougainville Public Service Chief Secretary who is on sick leave at the moment. The signing was witnessed by the staff of the PNG Tourism Promotions Authority (PNGTPA), Department of Commerce, Trade and Industry, senior officers and a small crowd at the Bel Isi park.
PNG Business News - February 05, 2023
PNGEITI POSITION ON PORGERA MINE LEGACY TAX ISSUES
The PNGEITI Head of Secretariat Mr. Lucas Alkan says all parties to the Pogera Mine must adhere to rules governing the extractive industry, particularly when dealing with fiscal matters that must be administered and observed according to law. His comments follow a news article on The National citing the Internal Revenue Commission (IRC) that unmet tax obligations of the Pogera mine stood in the way to expedite the mine re-opening process. Mr. Alkan says a workable and timely strategy that does not impinge on basic laws is a way forward. Below is the full comment on this issue. “The Papua New Guinea Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PNGEITI) commends The National newspaper for attempting to bring to light what appears to be the final outstanding issue (among others) in the Porgera Mine recommencement negotiations (more on this in footnote). We’ve noted from the reporting that taxation matters are legacy issues that appear to be standing in the way for the multi-million-kina Porgera Gold Mine to re-open. We have observed that the Government was on track to conclude negotiations and re-open the Mine by June last year, however this did not eventuate as anticipated. Attempts to reopening the Mine in the second half of last year was not feasible due to the national general elections and the formation of government. It appeared that all negotiations were concluded and a new Porgera Mining Agreement Framework was in place for the Mine to be re-opened in the first quarter of this year. Surprisingly, we learn that an old Porgera Tax liability dispute is standing in the way for the Mine to be re-opened. The early recommencement of the Mine, preferably within the first quarter of this year is critical for the country as the lead time required for mobilizing resources and the significant start-up capital needed to get the mine back into its full operating capacity would be a significant challenge. On this, we are aware there are also discussions going on with the developer and the government as to who is going to meet the startup cost but we understand Barrick Niugini Limited might meet the full cost of starting up the Mine and government would refund later but unsure as to whether this understanding has been reached or not yet. With regards to the current standoff, the EITI based on its global best practice principles is of the view that the existing law governing taxation matters must dictate or take precedence over any political intervention. We do not know the specifics of the on-going tax matter but understand that it is related to a tax dispute concerning the ‘old Porgera Mine’. If it is a significant amount of tax owed by Barrick to the Government based IRC’s audit in 2013 then it is a legal tax obligation that Barrick and its joint venture partners need to settle as required by law. We fail to understand as to why the old Porgera tax obligation/liability clause was inserted into the new Porgera Mining Framework Agreement making it a condition to resolve this legacy tax issue before reopening the Mine. If whatever was reported and commented by PM Marape recently is true then Barrick Niugini Limited and the State need to speed up the negotiation process and resolve this dispute immediately. Both parties should exercise good faith – Barrick Niugini Limited should not pull strings on this old Porgera tax liability matter and delay the re-opening of the Mine. It is understood the State (IRC) may not easily forego if there is a substantial amount of tax liability to be paid by the operator. Whatever the parties decide to do, they should resolve the tax liability issue through the due process of law but allow the Mine to re-open immediately under the New Porgera Framework Agreement. Political intervention is not recommended to resolve this dispute as this can undermine investor confidence, set bad precedence for the Government and create an uneven playing field for project developers. Barrack Niugini Limited should not put undue pressure on the State to resolve this matter politically in order to re-open the mine as it is not a best business practice. All stakeholders and the citizens have the right to know the specific issues or the nature of this tax liability issue between Barrick Niugini Limited (BNL) and the Internal Revenue Commission (IRC) as the continued delay in re-opening the Mine continues to have negative consequences on the economy. The prolonged delay has not only resulted in significant revenue loss to the Government (including the provincial and local level governments in the impacted resource area) but also loss of employment, business opportunities and spin-off benefits to the landowners and the wider communities. The shutting down of the Mine 3 years ago has had significant negative consequences on the economy including the current foreign exchange shortage that has constrained business operations in the other sectors of the economy. Porgera Mine had been a good source of foreign exchange inflows and its continued shutdown will definitely not going to contribute to the 4% economic growth (that was largely to be driven by the extractive sector) projected for by the World Bank for last year and the real GDP growth of 4% projected for this year in the 2023 National Budget. PNGEITI commends the transparent negotiation process to date that took substantial amount of time and effort to ensure the interests of all parties were reflected in those agreements. We encourage all parties to continue to respect and observe the laws of the land in this dispute resolution process to address the tax liability issue. We believe that a win-win situation for both parties (Government and Barrick) is to re-open the mine first and work together to resolve the outstanding tax liability dispute later going forward.
PNG Business News - February 02, 2023
Weir Minerals releases the 6th edition of the Warman® Slurry Pumping Handbook, the definitive resource for slurry pumps
Photo: The Warman Slurry Pumping Handbook is the definitive guide for most slurry pumping applications. Weir Minerals, manufacturer of the industry-leading Warman® slurry pump, has released the latest edition of their coveted Warman® Slurry Pumping Handbook. The 6th edition, compiled by the most trusted name in slurry pumps, features detailed engineering data required for most slurry pumping applications. Drawing on decades of Weir Minerals’ inhouse expertise in innovative engineering and slurry pumping technology, the new handbook has updated reference material based on new learnings, improved understanding and technological developments within the mining industry. With customers always in mind, the handbook aims to empower engineers to achieve optimal performance from their Warman® slurry pumps. An increased global focus on the environment, energy consumption and water conservation will influence slurry pump design and considerations – making this latest handbook an essential tool for all current and future pump engineers. “Pumping slurry has many challenges and I’m excited to publish our latest handbook, packed with fundamental theory, application advice, standard practices and latest Warman learnings from the field; all aimed to help our customers, present and future, deliver with excellence.” Marcus Lane, Director, Slurry Pumping Technology Group Weir Minerals are continually striving to shape the next generation of smart, efficient and sustainable solutions with cutting-edge science and innovation. The comprehensive handbook includes over 140 pages of detailed information, including performance charts, impeller design, part configuration, assembly and slurry considerations – fully supported by accurate technical renders and specifications. “The high quality of the reference material in this essential resource reflects the leading status of the Warman slurry pumps. As the industry leader, we have a responsibility to develop our future engineers; we will make the latest version of the Warman Slurry Pumping Handbook available not only to our customers, but also to the leading schools worldwide, so they can learn from the best in the industry.” John McNulty, Vice President Global Engineering & Technology. As part of Weir Minerals’ commitment to investing in STEM education and developing the next generation of engineers, copies of this essential resource will be gifted to the leading mining and engineering educational facilities around the world, including the winner of the 2022 Warman Design & Build competition, Deakin University in Australia.