Photo: PM Marape, International Trade and Investment Minister Hon. Richard Maru and Secretary Jacinta Manua with officials from the Bank of China
Prime Minister, Hon. James Marape met with the officials from the Bank of China on Wednesday, December 21, 2022, and welcomed their plans to extend their Representative Office license which they obtained from the Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG).
PM Marape has also encouraged the Bank of China to apply for a full commercial banking license from BPNG to set up and operate a full banking network in PNG.
The Bank of China operates in 60 countries around the world and is the world’s fourth biggest banking group. It has a diverse portfolio of investments which also includes investments in airline companies.
“It will be a very significant boost to have such a high-profile and highly-respected global banking group enter the PNG market to not only serve PNG, but also the South Pacific Region with Port Moresby as its regional headquarters,” PM Marape said,
“My Government is keen to see more new banks enter the PNG market to increase competition, to help reduce interest rates, banking fees, expand services to unreached areas using various e-banking platforms, and also to reduce the long queues in all our banks today.
“It will also create thousands of new jobs which our country badly needs.
“While our Government supports and welcomes the Bank of China to apply for a commercial banking license from BPNG, they will have to apply for it from the BPNG and meet the prudential standards set by BPNG which is clearly laid out in their website.
“BPNG is independent and cannot be directed by the Government on its licensing and regulatory functions.”
PM Marape said the entry of Bank of China into PNG would also enhance the Government’s plans to strengthen and deepen the trade and investment relationship between China and PNG.
“The feasibility study and negotiations leading to a Free Trade Agreement with China is set to start next year with the Chinese Government to fund the study at the cost of K1 million,” he said.
“Our Government will also set up a Trade Mission next year in Shanghai to be headed by a Trade Commissioner – whose focus will be to secure more foreign direct investments from China into PNG and secure more Chinese markets for our goods, including our LNG gas and agriculture, fisheries, marine, and forestry products.
“China with a population of over a billion people is a very big market that is ready to accept more PNG products.
“Amongst our highest trade priorities is the immediate arrangements for direct flights from Shanghai to Port Moresby. Our Government is looking for a Chinese Airline that can service the route under a Code Share arrangement with our national airline, Air Niugini. Our Government is excited about the plans of the Bank of China to open up operations in the country as it will be a big vote of confidence in PNG as an investment destination and also of my Government’s economic management of the country.”