by PNG Business News - May 20, 2022

Photo: Mr. Rajest Mandjakkat, CEO and Managing Director of Royal Arabian Computers going through the USD1.2m one-stop-shop Destination PNG Tourism Portal project with Amb Kalinoe, flanked by Mr. Sajeth Kumar, CEO and MD of IMBC Financial Professional Group and Dubai-based Trade and Investment Advisor to the PNG Embassy in Brussels (right) and an official of Royal Arabian Computers.

One of the companies that recently signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with PNG during the Post Expo 2020 PNG-UAE Economic Cooperation Dialogue in Abu Dhabi on 20 April 2022, Royal Arabian Computers, has submitted an investment proposal to partner with the Tourism Promotion Authority to create a one-stop-shop Destination PNG Digital Portal.

The company has been closely following the PNG Pavilion’s Expo journey during the thematic events, including the launch of the PNG SME Digital Economy and the Roundtable on Education, Science and the Green Economy where the Minister for Information, Communication and Technology Hon. Timothy Masiu and the Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Isi Leonard presented keynote addresses respectively.

Papua New Guinea’s Ambassador to Belgium and Expo2020 Commissioner General Mr. Joshua Kalinoe who is in Dubai for the completion of the PNG Pavilion’s decommissioning exercise met with the company and formerly received their proposal.

Ambassador Kalinoe said the proposal is an effort of the positive engagement between the company and the Pavilion Lead staff of TPA, IPA and the Department of Information, Communication and Technology (DCIT) who worked tirelessly to have the company committed to the investment.

“The Pavilion staff were aggressively implementing the target-based Participation Strategy as approved by the National Executive Council and the results have been overwhelming, well beyond my expectation, where 19 LOIs in trade, finance, banking, manufacturing, construction, tourism, mining, hydrocarbon, renewable energy, carbon trade and agriculture were signed.

“In the next two months, we expect to receive some more formal investment proposals from the 19 LOIs in finance, digital banking, agriculture, information technology, hydrocarbon, mining and import/export infrastructure, including mobility and connectivity”, Ambassador Kalinoe said.

Ambassador Kalinoe said the whole-of-government structure in implementing international events like the World Exposition 2020 with the leadership of the PNG Foreign Service represented by Kundu Brussels, has proven that international diplomacy is certainly relevant to achieving Papua New Guinea’s economic and visibility interests.

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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 - June 15, 2021

PNG Vanilla Company Partners Expo2020 Team

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.

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PNG Business News - June 24, 2022

Creating decent income-earning opportunities for rural communities in Papua New Guinea under road maintenance programme

EU Funded UN Joint STREIT PNG Programme, as part of its mission to support efforts towards reducing rural poverty, is engaging local communities with a focus on struggling single parents as a support workforcefor maintenance of 18 selected farm-to-market roads in the Sepik region. Led by the International Labour Organization (ILO), the creation of these employment opportunities in remote communities where there are limited income-generating activities because of lack of accessible roads to markets is a relief to many disadvantaged households. This month the ILO team visited some of these beneficiaries who are employed in the Road Maintenance Groups (RMGs) working on a 17.7km-long Walkasa Mai-Wanwan road and an 8km-long Yiminum-Wilbowe road in the Nuku District of Sandaun Province. For the beneficiaries, this is a lifetime opportunity for a regular and steady income to support their and their families' everyday needs, and one important concern for the struggling families is paying for their siblings' and kids' school fees and associate costs. Among the struggling families are some widows like Marathia, aged 59, from Yiminum Village, who works on the Yiminum-Wilbowe road. "My husband died, and we were really struggling because our families have their own problems to take care of. Now, I'm very happy with this job which I joined last year. It helps with school fees for my children," said Marathia. Marathia was left with five children to support, including one who is attending final year studies at a vocational training nearby. With the income as an RMG, she was able to pay PGK 500 school fee last year and early this year she paid PGK 250. She said the community is also happy to see her contribution in a job they usually see as for men only. For youths like Jena Suwa this employment opens a new window to their life. She was not able to complete her studies after year 10 in 2018. "I'm very happy today because I was doing nothing in the house. I will now save some money to prepare to go back to school to become a nurse," said Jena. Sony Apo is another youth who completed Grade 8 in 2015 and is looking forward to some money to upgrade. He dreams of becoming a carpenter to continue the legacy of his late 'big daddy'. "Big daddy was the only skilled man we had in the family, and now I'm ready to become a carpenter as well," he said. The main works that encompass the road routine maintenance aspect to be undertaken by the RMGs include pothole patching, vegetation clearing, drainage and general cleaning along the road in preparation for engagement of a contractor to perform specific maintenance on these farm-to-market access and feeder roads. Safety gears and road maintenance tools like boots, gloves, vests, safety helmets, spades, hoes, wheelbarrows were also among the tools and equipment provided and distributed by the EU-STREIT PNG Programme among the RMGs' members. During the visits, the Programme's Community Facilitator, Rachel Bowie also shared with the RMGs to demonstrate commitment in their work to take ownership in the routine maintenance of these roads because it will serve them, their families and their fellow community members. The mission also conducted a drone survey of a 14km-long Nanaha-Tau LLG access road in the Ambunti-Drekikier District, East Sepik Province. In consultation with Ward Members, locals, including youths and women, were also recruited to form RMGs to conduct routine maintenance for this road that will also service Drekikier Secondary. Under the Programme selection criteria, one RMG comprises six members that must have at least two females. The group must also have representation from youths, single parents whose partners have died or have deserted them and traditional owners of land the road passes through. The Programme, in partnership with MiBank, a local financial institution, is implementing cashless transactions and banking for rural farmers by opening bank accounts for these RMGs, and their payment is deposited directly at the end of every month. This arrangement encourages rural farmers to save and grow their earnings, which can be used to access small loan benefits. Under this rural agriculture development programme, 18 rural roads in the Sepik region totalling close to 300 km in length are being maintained or upgraded with the help of RMGs to support the market access initiative implemented by the EU-STREIT PNG Programme for rural and farming communities to boost agriculture production and agribusiness activities pertaining to three targeted cocoa, vanilla and fisheries agri-food value chains for an improved income and cash flow for the rural communities. The roads will also support other agricultural, business, social and community activities and facilities like schools, aid posts and health centres that are in dire need of better accessible roads. The EU-STREIT PNG Programme, being implemented as a UN Joint Programme (FAO as the leading agency, and ILO, ITU, UNCDF and UNDP as partners), is the largest grant-funded Programme of the European Union in the country and the Pacific region. The Programme aims to help improve the lives of the people from East Sepik and Sandaun provinces, by focusing on increasing sustainable and inclusive economic development of rural areas through improved economic returns and opportunities from cocoa, vanilla and fishery value chains while strengthening and improving the efficiency of value chain enablers, including the business environment, and supporting sustainable, climate-proof transport and energy infrastructure development.


PNG Business News - June 24, 2022

Santos welcomes new apprentices in higher-level program

Photo: Leon Buskens, Santos Country Chair PNG meeting the 25 new apprentices in Port Moresby before their departure to the Institut Teknologi Petroleum Petronas (INSTEP) in Malaysia. Joining Mr Buskens and the apprentices are members of the Santos Training and People & Culture Teams. Santos is helping to equip Papua New Guinea’s next generation of oil and gas technicians with international qualifications.  Ten females are among 25 novices who have joined the Santos 2022 Apprenticeship Program following a rigorous selection process which will see them train at the Institut Teknologi Petroleum Petronas (INSTEP) in Malaysia – 900 applications were received for the 2022 Program. Upon completion of the technician training at INSTEP, the apprentices will earn a Pearson Business Education Technology Council Level 2 and Level 3 UK qualification. Santos Country Chair for PNG, Leon Buskens when welcoming the apprentices, said: “You have joined at an exciting time following the merger between Oil Search and Santos. As the inaugural batch under the merged entity, there are greater opportunities for you to advance in all aspects of your career both in PNG and abroad. I encourage you to do your best and importantly, maintain a positive attitude and uphold your values - this is what will take you far on this journey. “This is the beginning, but you should be proud of yourselves as we are of you for making it this far. Congratulations and welcome to Santos.” Joining Mr Buskens to address the new cohort were pioneering trainees Cornelius Soagai, Senior Government Affairs Manager and Lydia Warubi, Deputy Occupational Health & Safety Manager. Mr Soagai went on to become the first national Production Manager in the Operations and Maintenance Department while Ms Warubi made waves as the first national female process technician to work at the Central Processing Facility. Both leaders encouraged the apprentices to maximize on the career development opportunities available to them at Santos. Among the cohort was Judy Sasa who completed the Company’s pre-apprentice program at the Kumul Petroleum Academy (KPA) in 2020. Judy finished at the top of her class and attained an honourable achievement award. A grateful Judy thanked Santos for a further opportunity to broaden her knowledge in oil and gas production. “My dream is coming true as I have always wanted to work in this industry,” Ms Sasa said. The 25 apprentices along with the Santos training team departed PNG for Malaysia last weekend. Two permanent employees were also part of the travelling party to INSTEP where they will train to become dual Electrical & Instrumentation tradesmen.   Article courtesy of Santos


PNG Business News - June 23, 2022

PM Marape says East Sepik can become ‘economic powerhouse’ of PNG

Photo: PM Marape addressing the crowd in Maprik Prime Minister Hon. James Marape says East Sepik has the potential to become the “economic powerhouse” of Papua New Guinea. He said in Maprik recently (June 22 2022) that because of this potential, and in memory of founding Prime Minister the late Sir Michael Somare, the next Government would be formed in East Sepik. Present with the Prime Minister were East Sepik Governor Hon. Allan Bird (National Alliance), Angoram MP Hon. Salio Waipo (National Alliance), Maprik MP and Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Hon. John Simon (Pangu) and Pangu candidate for Wosera-Gawi Ronald Asik. Sir Michael was instrumental in the formation of both Pangu and National Alliance “East Sepik has the potential to become the ‘economic powerhouse’ province of our country,” PM Marape said. “This is why I will bring Government formation to here: Firstly, in memory of Sir Michael, and secondly, in memory of Sir Pita Lus. “This will be the 11th Parliament, and the first Parliament without Sir Michael and Sir Pita being alive. “This will be symbolic that the nation is now being passed on to the next generation.” PM Marape said formation of the new Government in East Sepik would also inspire the new generation of leaders to hold on to the lofty ideals of the founding fathers like Sir Michael and Sir Pita. He said his Government, over the last three years, had passed major laws to fight corruption and promised the people of Papua New Guinea that some prominent leaders would be prosecuted after the elections. These include the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), Whistle Blowers’ Act and Undisclosed Wealth Act. “What would be the point of Allan Bird and I growing the economy of the country when corruption is still prevalent?” PM Marape said. “We have managed to stifle corruption in the big way with passage of the three bills during the last term of Parliament. “Over the last three years, we have spent over K56 billion, which has grown the economy by K30 billion.” PM Marape said East Sepik’s economic powerhouse potential was in agriculture, through the vast Sepik Plains, and challenged the province to start growing rice on a large scale to reduce the huge K900 million rice import bill. “Over the next few years, and into the future, we want to grow our own rice for domestic consumption as well as export to Phillipines, Indonesia and the rest if the region,” he said. “Sir Michael, before his passing, said he had helped groom me up and asked me not to forget East Sepik into the future. “The way to achieve this is through economic independence. “I want every Papua New Guinean to have money in their pockets: Grow rice, grow cocoa, grow vanilla, look after cattle, bring in tourists, stop consumption of home brew, stop marijuana and other bad habits. “We are ready to take the country to the next level. “I want East Sepik to be an economic powerhouse no longer dependent on Waigani. “This is why I ask the people of East Sepik to send Allan Bird, John Simon, Salio Waipo and my Wosera-Gawi candidate Ronald Asik, Ambunti-Dreikikier candidate Richard Rafa and Wewak candidate Jim Simitab to Parliament. “   Article courtesy of PM JAMES MARAPE News Page

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