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PNG Business News - May 03, 2022

Smaré Retains Council Presidency

Photo: President Anthony Smaré addressing the attendees at the 34th Annual General Meeting Incumbent president of the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum Anthony Smaré retained his position as President at the Chamber’s Annual General Meeting. Mr Smaré was re-elected unopposed in the Chambers 34th Annual General Meeting held on Thursday 28th of April at the Hilton Hotel Port Moresby. Mr Smaré in 2021 had became the Mining,  Oil and Gas industry’s first non-affiliated president, and independent of all the member companies that make up the Chamber’s membership. Mr Richard Kassman of TotalEnergies EP PNG Limited retained his position as Senior Vice President, with Mr Philip Samar of K92 Mining Limited joins the Council as Vice President. Council members for the year 2022 include; John Lewins (K92), Albert Kaupa Tobe (Ramu-Nico, MCC), Kepas Wali (Harmony Gold), Stanley Komunt (Newcrest Limited), Hitesh Lal (ExxonMobil PNG), Tim Richards (GeoPacific Resource), Mark McMonagle (Sun Engineering), Andrew Harris (Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu). At the AGM, which was attended by representative of member companies in person and via videoconference from all of the world, Mr Smaré recounted the work that the chamber and industry had done over the past 12 months, highlighting in particular the significant work that the industry did in managing the covid pandemic so that it did not disrupt important resource operations that the economy required, but also in supporting covid responses in their remote communities and providing invaluable assistance to the national government’s covid management and resourcing activities.  Mr Smaré also acknowledged the work that the chamber and industry had done in continuing positive engagement with the National Government and stakeholders on policy reform and implementation. Mr Smaré also thanked the outgoing councilors Mr John Chambers (Santos), Mr Johannes Van Heerdan (Harmony) and Mr Craig Jones (Newcrest) for their contributions as councilors. He also thanked outgoing Vice President Mr Leon Buskens for his stellar service and leadership, but reiterated that he hopes to see Mr Buskens, as a senior Papua New Guinean leader in the industry, take up another leadership position in the Council later this year.    Article courtesy of the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum

Business

PNG Business News - May 02, 2022

Holiday Inn Express, Port Moresby reopened its doors on 1 May, 2022

Holiday Inn Express Port Moresby reopened its doors to guests on the 1st of May, 2022. The perfect base to get business done while in Port Moresby or start a PNG adventure, the hotel closed operations on April 16, 2020 following the first travel border closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst the hotel remained closed for sale from 2020, a number of rooms were utilised as overflow from the Holiday Inn & Suites, in 2021. Two years on and this smart hotel choice for the business and leisure traveller reopens offering all the essentials of a great hotel at exceptional value. “A Holiday Inn Express guest is a savvy traveller that expects value, we extend free breakfast and free Wi-Fi with our rates,” says Mauro Leone, Area General Manager, IHG PNG. ”Considering the high cost of connectivity in Papua New Guinea, this sets the brand apart from the competition,” he continues. Holiday Inn Express Port Moresby offers a choice of modern queen and twin rooms and 2 wheelchair accessible rooms, as well as free on-site undercover parking and a complimentary shuttle bus to the city’s Jacksons International Airport only 6 minutes away. Located within a secure green oasis in the heart of central Waigani, Holiday Inn Express shares vicinity with Holiday Inn & Suites. Between the two hotels within the precinct they offer a variety of modern facilities, including a fully equipped gym with two squash courts, external basketball court and a walking track for guests n celebration of this reopening, the hotel offers an unbeatable room rate to the domestic tourism market, of K399 +GST inclusive of free Wi-Fi, breakfast for two adults in Kopi Haus Restaurant and accommodation in a standard room for the month of May. Experience Holiday Inn Express Port Moresby again and book now, on reservations.holidayinn&suites@ihg.com or +675 303-2000.

Business

PNG Business News - May 02, 2022

Global economy remains constrained

Photo: BSP Group General Manager for Corporate Banking, Peter Beswick The global economy remains constrained by inflated commodity prices, lingering pandemic effects, and supply bottlenecks. According to BSP Pacific Economic and Market Insight Q1 2022 Report, BSP Group General Manager for Corporate Banking, Peter Beswick said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is significantly affecting global commodities. “One of the major impacts has been crude oil, with prices having increased from USD35 to USD120 BBL in the last 18 months (240%). “A recent media report by Puma Energy CEO, Mr. Hulala Tokome, confirmed that fuel prices will increase by 80 tea per litre and will continue to rise. The impact will be felt across the economy with consumers, vehicles owners, construction companies, businesses, and electricity suppliers bearing the brunt of the higher fuel costs,” said Mr. Beswick. In relation to COVID, Mr. Beswick stated that although COVID impacts have dissipated in 2022, persistent supply chain issues most especially from China are resulting in significant delays in product shipments and uplift in shipping costs increasing over 300%. “This is a significant impact for PNG as 85% of consumables, raw materials for production, and finished goods are imported,” Mr Beswick added. For many businesses, the increased costs will need to be recouped from consumers via higher prices.   Article courtesy of BSP

Business

PNG Business News - May 02, 2022

Increase in Number of Registered PNG Businesses Seen

Photo: IPA Haus Since 2019, the Investment Promotion Authority has seen a significant increase in PNG businesses registered. The increase in registration came when COVID-19 hit the country, according to IPA managing director Clarence Hoot. “We are slowly seeing registration of businesses, especially from international investors and international businessmen and women, we are coming back from a low registration when COVID-19 hit to numbers rising,” Mr Hoot said. “For example, for associations which are non-profit organisations, in 2019 we had 596, 2020 we have reported 830 associations registered, 2021 a slight drop with 810 reported and for the first three months of this year we have so far registered 241 associations which will increase.” “For business groups, it was reported that 584 were registered, in 2020, there was a jump to 1055 business groups registered with IPA while it dropped to 877 registering in 2020, and for the first three months 541 have registered business groups.” “For business names in 2019, 20,381 registered names, in 2020 there was increase to 25,398, in 2021 there was a huge jump to 28,180 business names registered across the country, and for the first three months for 2022 we already have 10,369 business names registered.” “For IPA, more people are registering their businesses and companies with more foreign interest in the country.” “For those registering business companies in 2019, there were 3,993 registered business companies, in 2020 there was a jump to 4,310 by 2021 the registered business companies had risen to 4,500 while for the first three months 1,667 have so far registered business companies.” Mr Hoot added that 600 foreigners were granted foreign enterprise certificates in 2019 to conduct business in PNG. “However, when COVID-19 hit the country in 2020, there was a big drop to only 456 foreign certificates obtained with a slight increase to 477 in 2021, however in the first three months of this year, there have been 160 foreign enterprise certificates obtained, which will increase in the months to come,” Mr Hoot said. “To us, this means businesses are back and bringing more economy revenue to the country.”   Reference: Zarriga, Miriam. Post-Courier (28 April 2022). “IPA’s Busiess Registrtation Up”. 

Business

PNG Business News - May 02, 2022

Toroama: Economic Development Should Be On Par With Our Independence Ready Mission

“As Bougainville continues to make great headway in its political development, we must also ensure that our socio-economic development is on par with our independence ready mission.” President Toroama made this bold declaration in parliament, emphasising the importance of hastening internal economic development plans. “We already have several high impact projects that this government is initiating, but we are yet to capture the low hanging fruits through the industries that Bougainvilleans are already involved in. We need a strong Bougainville Economic Development Strategy that will allow us to harness revenue from economic projects,” Toroama said. “It is time we stopped procrastinating with plans that do not go beyond the paper they are written on. We must practicalise economic development and start earning revenue for Bougainville.” President Toroama urged all Bougainville landowners to begin to trust the government and to engage with it to support economic projects that would help the government raise money. “To enable tangible development and social progress, they (landowners) must work with the government by releasing their lands for development and respecting the progress of the economic projects initiated on their lands.” “My government has always adopted rights before resources approach to development where we place the rights of the people above monetary and financial value. By respecting landowner rights, we expect the landowners themselves and the investor to comply with our economic laws and regulations to avoid problems.” President Toroama, on the other hand, noted that a number of international enterprises had established themselves in Bougainville but had to abandon their investments and assets owing to landowner disputes and criminal activity. “We may complain about the government not doing enough to support economic development, but our greatest impediment is ourselves when we refuse to support the government’s economic initiatives. If we continue along this path, there will be no real economic benefits to support our Independence agenda,” President Toroama said. While Panguna is a significant economic driver for Bougainville, President Toroama stated that it would not be the exclusive source of money for the country, instead, Panguna must be viewed as a supplement to the country's overall prosperity. “It (Panguna Mine) must not impede our desire to grow other investment opportunities for Bougainville that will provide revenue, it must be seen as complementary to our economic growth.” President Toroama also stated that his administration is not planning any covert schemes to undermine the Panguna Landowners. “I want to make it clear to the Panguna landowners and the people of Bougainville that my government has not made any commitment to any mining company. We are only dealing with Bougainville Copper Limited because the government is required to do so when it concerns the Panguna Mine. This government has no secret plot to undermine the landowners and give concessions to mining companies without the people’s consent,” Toroama stated.   Reference: Autonomous Bougainville Government (27 April 2021). “President Toroama on economic development”. 

Business

PNG Business News - May 02, 2022

Pacific Trade Invest Australia Releases Annual Report

Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) Australia, an agency of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, has launched its 2021 Annual Report. Despite the harsh climate, the report highlighted more than A$27 million in export sales and 17 investment deals brokered in the area. In the aftermath of COVID-19, PTI Australia continues to engage with businesses in Papua New Guinea, promoting trade, tourism, and investment prospects. PTI Australia assisted 187 enterprises and enabled A$4,111,240 in exports through its services. Caleb Jarvis, PTI Australia's Trade and Investment Commissioner, spoke on the pandemic's ongoing impact on the Pacific and the organisation's efforts to help the private sector during and after the crisis. “Across the Blue Pacific, many nations felt the devastating health impacts of the pandemic for the first time in 2021, demonstrating incredible resilience in their response to the crisis. Despite an arduous environment of severe trade and investment constraints, we supported 975 businesses across 16 Pacific nations during this period,” said Mr Jarvis. “In PNG, we connected a number of PNG-based businesses to potential buyers and distributors in Australia, including a bilum exporter to an Australia-based buyer, a vanilla extract exporter to a Melbourne-based importer, and a coffee bean exporter to an Australian-based buyer. “In addition to these services, we continued to support manufacturers, sponsor partners events, and run multiple high-value digital workshops.” He credited his team's flexibility, ingenuity, and collaboration with PTI partners for achieving these accomplishments. “I am proud of the flexibility and determination demonstrated by the PTI Australia team, who continued to approach the year dynamically, remaining immeasurably adaptable as many of our trade and investment. Tourism and labour mobility programs shifted between physical, virtual and hybrid formats as Australia and the Blue Pacific moved in and out of various lockdowns,” said Mr Javis. These accomplishments could not have been accomplished without the help of the worldwide PTI Network and partners, and they highlight the critical role they play in expanding our reach and effectiveness throughout the Pacific. “Collaborating with our global PTI network and 27 partners allowed us to deliver $27.14 million in exports and $14.66 million in investments. Jarvis said that investing in and speeding regional digital development and capacity building has also played a key role in the agency's operations. “2021 saw us continue to invest in regional digital development to support businesses across the Blue Pacific to navigate the new conditions brought about by the pandemic. “Throughout the year, we delivered 38 online workshops to help Pacific businesses participate more in the digital economy, launched our PTI Australia x Canva Digital Design Program, a first in the region, and refined our e-Commerce connector series.” “Understanding the realities for the Pacific’s private sector has also been essential during this period, and through the PTI Network’s regular PTI Pacific Business Monitor survey series, we have been able to ensure nations, agencies and partners were kept informed with data, while also utilising these same insights to inform the design of much of our work.” Jarvis reaffirmed the agency's commitment to assisting Pacific enterprises and the communities that rely on them in the future. “We remain committed to working with our partners to chart a path to economic recovery, creating tangible outcomes for the businesses and people of the Blue Pacific, as we continually pursue the Pacific Islands Forum’s vision of a bright and prosperous future for all Pacific peoples.”   Reference: Loop (26 April 2022). “PTI launches 2021 Annual Report”.

Business

PNG Business News - May 02, 2022

Planned Outage On Coral Sea Cable System

PNG DataCo Limited (DataCo) chief executive officer Paul Komboi says there will be a planned outage on the Coral Sea Cable System (CS2) between Port Moresby and Sydney from May 14 to 21. However, according to Komboi, the date might be pushed back to October. “DataCo management has considered this outage a critical precautionary measure to mitigate serious issues going into the future and the life of this asset,” he said. “Since commissioning of the CS2 cable, a shunt fault was detected in early 2021, posing a risk to the ongoing smooth operation of the cable system. “During the outage window from May 14 to 21, all international bound traffic for internet and private leased circuits on CS2 will be routed on alternate paths via PPC-1 submarine cable from Madang to Sydney and Madang to Guam and possibly O3B satellite system out of Port Moresby. “This whole exercise will result in degradation of services because the alternate paths will not have enough bandwidth capacity to cater for the demands of the present traffic profile on CS2 and will also result in increased latency during the outage window,” he said. “All service providers are at this moment notified to consider alternate redundancies to back up their services during the outage period. “DataCo sincerely apologises for any inconvenience this outage may cause to businesses. “We will provide further advice and update on the progress of this exercise until services are normalised.”   Reference: The National (25 April 2022). “DataCo plans outage to fix Coral Sea cable system”.

Business

PNG Business News - May 02, 2022

Telco Sharing Towers Possible

Photo: Digicel mobile towers in Papua New Guinea. Credit: Jason South The possibility of Vodafone, Digicel, and Telikom PNG sharing towers is still being discussed. Mr Lal stated that Vodafone had first discussed tower leasing and sharing with both Digicel and Telikom/BeMobile, but that no viable agreements had been reached, prompting the company to build additional towers. “However, we remain open to further discussion if the incumbents in the market are amenable to tower sharing arrangements,” he said. Vodafone PNG chairman Kalpana Lal said the company is aware that it is the third mobile telecommunications entrant. Still, it believes the market is large enough for three competitors, and it is committed to shaking up the sector for the sake of everybody. “We operate in many other competitive markets across the Pacific and respect and embrace competition. While we fiercely compete on many fronts, we are also ready and open to collaborating with other industry players for the benefit of customers at large and the industry; especially on matters such as infrastructure sharing, number portability, building resiliency and achieving the goal of bridging the digital divide,” Ms Lal said. One of the world's largest and most successful mobile telecommunications companies and one of the world's top ten most valuable brands. Ms Lal explained that this means PNG clients would have access to industry best practices, a knowledge base spanning all aspects of the business, combined economies of scale, and operational know-how from a global brand. “This means the PNG people will have access to the latest network technology, more affordable access to connectivity, the latest in smartphones and devices and much more value,” she said. “Being part of this global ecosystem means strategic investment, latest technology, high service orientation and years of experience. We will work tirelessly to bring mobile connectivity to each person in PNG, ensuring the mobile devices and the cost of the internet is affordable.”   Reference: Yafoi, Melisha. Post-courier (25 April 2022). “Vodafone Tower Share Talks”.

Business

PNG Business News - May 02, 2022

Qantas Resumes Operations to PNG

Photo: Qantas has resumed its operations after more than two years.  On Friday, April 22, 2022, services resumed with the arrival of flight QF057 and the departure of flight QF058. Qantas flew to Papua New Guinea to bring supplies to the front lines during World War II. Qantas began flying from Australia to Port Moresby and Lae in 1945, where the airline built a base for local operations. Every Monday, Friday, and Sunday, flights will be operated by a Boeing 737-800. With flights between Brisbane and Port Moresby increasing to five per week from June 20, Qantas expects demand on this route to increase in the coming months, particularly from the business market. The route, which will boost commerce and trade between Australia and Papua New Guinea, is the latest international service to be introduced to Qantas' network out of Brisbane. Customers flying to Australia from Papua New Guinea will be able to connect seamlessly with the Qantas Group's domestic and international aircraft routes, according to Qantas. Customers and Frequent Flyers of Qantas will be able to earn and utilize Qantas Points on the flights, as well as enjoy premium amenities such as complimentary food and beverages, checked luggage, and lounge access in Brisbane.   Reference: Loop (24 April 2022).  “PNG back on Qantas route map”. 

Business

PNG Business News - May 02, 2022

Vodafone to Invest K3B

According to Vodafone PNG, the country's third mobile operator would spend K3 billion in the country, offering chances for Papua New Guineans in terms of growth, prosperity, job creation, and telecommunications affordability and accessibility an official said. Regional chief executive officer Pradeep Lal said the telco (telecommunications company) was rolling out a 3G/4G+ network, and customers would experience much faster speeds and improved customer services. “We have various other attractive and unparalleled daily, weekly and monthly bundles to suit every market segment. “Our competitive pricing and product propositions are designed with low margin tariffs and high-value benefits with an overall value ranging from 30 per cent to 100 per cent when compared to competing offers in the market.” Lal said introductory free sims, which would have a preloaded value of 1GB data, unlimited on-net calls and SMS, valid for seven days, would be available from any of Vodafone’s 15 retail outlets and kiosks and over 100 roadshow outlets. “On the business front, we have numerous solutions designed to facilitate more reliable connectivity to drive improved business effectiveness, efficiencies and cost reductions,” he added. “Along with value-packed mobile and data bundles, shared and pay as you go plans, the suite of ICT products include wide-area networking, dedicated internet, cloud PBX, SD WAN, disaster recovery and cyber security to name a few.” He said Vodafone planned to bring a suite of value-added services that had been highly triumphant its other markets that would help solve the challenges of PNG customers. “Vodafone PNG is building a brand new greenfield network from the ground up and constructing all new towers. “We initially had tower leasing and sharing discussions with both Digicel and Telikom/BeMobile, however, no arrangements were reached, hence our decision to construct new towers. We are launching with just over 500 base stations, covering Port Moresby, Lae, Madang, Mt Hagen and Goroka. By Christmas, we intend to have 800 sites live, progressively expanding coverage to 22 provinces.”   Reference: Luma, Dale. The National (22 April 2022). “Vodafone investing K3bil”.

Business

PNG Business News - April 25, 2022

Rates For International Shipping Increase

Since 2020, international shipping rates for general and containerised cargos have climbed dramatically, having a considerable influence on domestic products pricing. According to statistics accessible to the ICCC, the surge in maritime freight prices was caused by the COVID-19 epidemic and trade imbalances, which resulted in international container shortages. According to Mr Ain, rates fell for a brief period between September and December 2021, but then rose again in March 2022 as a result of the current global economic shock. “Given that PNG relies heavily on the imported food products and other basic essential items and necessities are mainly imported, when international freight charges increase, they also affect the domestic prices,” Mr Ain said. He said that structural reasons such as low-income, land-locked, and island countries like PNG endure higher inflation as shipping costs, fuel prices (particularly bunker prices), and international food prices rise due to a significant reliance on imports. Mr Ain said that variations in foreign currency rates, which affect import costs, are another underlying cause driving up international transportation costs for general and containerised cargo. “The depreciation of the PNG against the currencies of major trading partners has sustained PNG’s inflation for some time now and the recent shock in global crude oil prices and increase in international costs of shipping and logistics have exacerbated the increase in domestic prices of many countries including PNG over the past two years,” he said.   Reference: Post-Courier (21 April 2022). “Cargo Shipping Costs To Increase”.

Business

PNG Business News - April 21, 2022

PNG Shows Positive Growth, Says Marape

Despite no new resource projects coming online, Prime Minister James Marape claims that the country has been able to report positive growth. According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the country's GDP would increase by 3.4 per cent this year and 4.6 per cent next year. Marape stated that the government was handling a debt to GDP (gross domestic product) ratio of K51 billion, including K39 billion in obligations left by the previous administration. “That’s how we are tracking our economy,” Marape said. “I just want to encourage our people out there, not all is bad as it may seem. “Without any new projects, while Porgera is coming on and others are coming on, we are still able to post a positive growth rate however small it may be but we are still posting significant growth over the last two to three years of managing our economy. “We are rebounding at extraordinary times, hard times, Coronavirus-induced and now with the Russia-Ukraine war-induced hard times. “In a K51 billion debt to GDP level in hard times and many nations globally also have a higher debt to GDP but for us it’s manageable. “We are on a fiscal consolidation pathway going forward. “The way we are posting positive growth this year at 3.4 per cent, next year at 4.6 per cent as forecasted by ADB, its an indication to our country that we are managing our economy responsibly, making interventions at the flow of the economy, especially where people, the ordinary Papua New Guineans are facing hard times.” PNG's economy improved in 2021, according to the ADB's economic projection for 2022, thanks to a 3.7 per cent growth in agriculture, forestry, and fisheries. Rising global commodity prices and the elimination of trade bottlenecks boosted palm oil, cocoa, and coffee output. The output of logs and fish has changed somewhat since 2020. As mineral production increases and more normal global economic circumstances return, the ADB predicts that the country's economy will rise steadily.   Reference:  Luma, Dale. The National (19 April 2022). “Marape remains upbeat about state of economy”. 

Business

PNG Business News - April 18, 2022

Marape Orders Cabinet Reshuffle

Photo: PM Marape congratulating Sohe MP Hon. Henry Amuli on his appointment as Minister for Commerce and Industry Minister for Environment Conservation and Climate Change Hon. Wera Mori has been decommissioned by Prime Minister Hon. James Marape in a Cabinet reshuffle made recently (April 13 2022). PM Marape also announced the reshuffle of Minister for Justice Hon. Bryan Kramer to Immigration, Minister for Provincial Affairs Hon. Pila Niningi to Justice, and Minister for Immigration Hon. Wesley Nukundj to Provincial Affairs. “This has nothing to do with their performances,” he said. “They have performed very well in their respective portfolios but as a whole-of-Government, especially in this transitional period leading up to the elections, we made these changes.” Mori’s decommissioning follows his resignation from the ruling Pangu Pati to lead another political party. “I was tasked by the Pangu Pati Caucus, as well as the Pangu Pati Council, to give the portfolio to a member of the party,” PM Marape said. “The Hon. Wera Mori, of his own accord, has chosen to move away from Pangu Pati. “His portfolio will be passed on to a member of the Pangu Party, in this instance, Daulo MP Hon. Pogio Ghate. “I will also be bringing in Pangu Pati member and Sohe MP, Hon. Henry Amuli, into Cabinet sometime next week. “This will be following the burial of our Pangu strongman, Minister for Commerce and Industry and Goilala MP, Hon. William Samb. “Their swearing in will be done next week following the burial of late Hon. William Samb.” PM Marape said Cabinet would be functional during the period of the 2022 General Election, which starts on April 28, right up to when writs were returned and the new government was formed. “There will not be any Caretaker Government,” he said. “Cabinet will be functional all the way up until the writs are returned, and then there will be a Caretaker Cabinet.” PM Marape thanked Mori for serving his Government as Minister for Commerce and Industry, and then Environment Conservation and Climate Change, where he was his Special Envoy to the COP26 Conference in Glasgow last year.   Reference: PM James Marape News Page (13 April 2022). “Minister Wera Mori decommissioned in Cabinet reshuffle”.

Business

PNG Business News - April 18, 2022

PM MARAPE THANKS PRINCESS ANNE FOR ROYAL VISIT TO PNG

PM James Marape has given his gratitude to Her Royal Highness Princess Anne for her three-day Royal Visit to honor the Queen's 70th Platinum Jubilee Anniversary. The Princess Royal was brought to Port Moresby by her husband, Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence. “I thank Her Royal Highness Princess Anne for visiting Papua New Guinea, a country which is very much part of the Commonwealth, with our Head of State being her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” PM Marape said. “Princess Anne is now a newcomer to PNG, having visited here several times in the past, the last being in 2005 when we celebrated out 30th Anniversary of Independence. “We wish her Royal Highness and her delegation a safe travel back to the United Kingdom. “We also wish Queen Elizabeth II the best of health on the occasion of her 70th Platinum Jubilee Anniversary.”   Reference: Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council (12 April 2022). “PM Marape Thanks Princess Anne For Royal Visit To PNG”. 

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PNG Business News - April 18, 2022

Masiu: Entry of Telecom Companies Likely to Cut Internet Rates

Photo credit: RNZ - Timothy Masiu According to Information Communications Technology Timothy Masiu, the introduction of two new telecoms providers into the nation would likely lower internet rates. According to Masiu, internet rates in the country are not falling as quickly as planned. However, he believes that once Telstra and Digitec-Vodafone join the PNG market, internet costs will alter. Masiu stated that the National Information and Communication Technology Agency (Nicta) and Internet Service Providers (ISP) were collaborating to fix the situation. “A lot of people are complaining and I am worried that this (internet price decrease) is not happening quickly,” he said. “There are factors and issues that needs to be looked at. “Nicta does its due diligence very cohesively to make sure that no one is being misled and no unnecessary burden is being put on our people especially at this very time. “With the Digicel acquisition by Telstra coming in, and Digitec-Vodafone coming up, there’s going to be some very important changes in the internet (prices).” Nicta's chief executive officer, Kila Gulo-Vui, said that a public inquiry into retail internet prices had been launched. “That process will determine the kind of levels of prices for voice, data,” he said. “There is a discussion paper and we expect the operators and interested parties to make submissions. “Decisions by Nicta are based on evidence. “We will make decisions and regulatory interventions based on facts and not on speculations.”   Reference: The National (12 April 2022). “Entry of telecom companies likely to cut internet prices: Masiu”.

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