PM Marape says East Sepik can become ‘economic powerhouse’ of PNG
by PNG Business News - June 23, 2022
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
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”.
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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 22, 2022
International Day of Women in Mining Celebrated
Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML) joined the global community to recognise ‘International Day of Women in Mining’ with a special Breakfast hosted by the Ok Tedi Women’s Network (OWN) on 19th June in Tabubil. The event was attended by members of the management team and women employees of OTML and business partners. Keynote speakers at the event included Manager Process Asset Renewal (PAR) Interface, Lyndah Brown, who has 30 years of experience in the industry, as well as Administration Officer Crane Services, Anna Aisa, who has served the Company for 15 years. Both women shared inspiring testimonies and challenges of working in the mining industry. OWN President and OTML Manager Finance, Beverly Pasen, said the event was a celebration of the resilient spirit of women in mining. “Regardless of whether you are an OTML employee or business partner, today we are women in mining united to celebrate our talents and continue the work towards equalising gender representation in the industry,” Ms Pasen said. She said women working in the mining industry face many challenges, however, are just as eager to overcome these barriers and assume roles that were predominantly held by men. “Our call to action today in support of women in mining is to develop and adopt diversity policies to improve the gender imbalance in employment, offer more gender-sensitive facilities, improve parental leave policies, and also develop flexible work arrangements by reviewing fixed hours and fixed work locations,” Ms Pasen said Ok Tedi is an equal opportunity employer and in line with the Company’s 2025 Vision, diversity and inclusion are an important part of its strategy in which OTML aims to increase the number of women in the organisation, and in leadership roles by 20% and 25% respectively. Article courtesy of Ok Tedi Mining