PRIME Minister Hon. James Marape recently (20/09/22) paid a courtesy visit to John Swire of John Swire & Sons Ltd, the principal shareholder and parent of Papua New Guinea’s oldest company – Steamships Trading Company.
The meeting with John Swire & Sons at their London head office, was to thank the shareholder for keeping their investments going over a long time in PNG and still continuing in the face of everything PNG has gone through.
The meeting was also to reassure the investor of the current efforts the Marape-Rosso Government is now putting into expanding the economy through the development of enabling infrastructure, Agriculture and downstream processing.
PM Marape said: “Steamships has PNG truly at its heart. It has been operating in the country for over 90 years, with a history that is entwined with the country’s own history. Still, it is going strong.
“Swire is a big company globally, with substantial shareholding in Cathay Pacific also.
“My meeting with John Swire today was to reassure him that the future of PNG is looking up as we begin on the efforts to expand the economy toward the K200 billion mark within the next 10 years. We are doing this by opening up the rest of the country through infrastructure development, Agriculture and downstream processing.
“I also reassured him that my government is more than willing to work with companies that have stood the test of time with PNG, and Swire – through Steamships – is the longest and most loyal.
“The Government is looking forward to seeing Steamships and Swire consolidate their positions in PNG, and diversify and expand even further.
“Steamships has been with us long before our own Independence and knows the PNG business environment like no other. Nothing would make us happier than to see it expand into the areas we are working at such as Agriculture, downstream processing and building MSMEs among Papua New Guineans,” said PM Marape.
The Prime Minister said the Government was working at upgrading enabling infrastructure to support investors through the Connect PNG Program covering roads, bridges, wharves and jetties, airports and airstrips, including electricity which was mentioned by Swire as one of the challenges being faced by Steamships.
PM Marape said power supply should be upgraded to full capacity within the next three to four years in the Southern region, and the Lae – Highlands area all the way to Hides utilising gas (Western end) and hydro (Eastern end).
The Prime Minister once more gave credence to the link as established through the Commonwealth with the United Kingdom.
“The country would know my view by now on maintaining our arrangements with the Commonwealth, especially with UK. UK is just like the United States; it is the capital of the free world, capitalistic society. This is where commerce and trade took off from, with huge markets here. At the moment they buy our oil palm, tuna and exports that find their way into the European market,” said PM Marape.
Article courtesy of PMNEC