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PNG Business News - June 28, 2021

Australia To Provide Infrastructure for PNG

According to Australian High Commissioner Jon Philp, Australia aims to provide high-quality infrastructure for PNG, generate employment, and upskill locals. His administration recently announced that it will invest K1.1 billion (US$300 million) to improve and repair all marine facilities owned and maintained by PNG Ports. In Port Moresby, Philp signed an agreement with State Enterprises Minister William Duma and PNG Ports chairman Kepas Wali, signalling Australia's commitment to the development of PNG's marine infrastructure sector. He stated that Australia was pleased to help PNG improve its marine infrastructure in order to enable commerce and boost national development. PNG's Prime Minister James Marape, who was also there, said the country has sought Australia for help in renewing and improving its ports. Duma praised Australia for prioritizing local jobs and business engagement in whatever project it supports. “The foundations of most of our ports were built during the colonial and Pacific War era by the Australians, and it is appropriate that we now come together to jointly collaborate to plan for the rehabilitation of critical infrastructure,” he said.  The 30-year ports infrastructure master plan, Philp said, presented a "great opportunity and platform" for Australia to assist PNG's infrastructure development goals. Wali praised the board and management of PNG Ports for their dedication and assistance in ensuring that any work sponsored by Australia will be done in a transparent and high-quality way. He was pleased that PNG Ports had the chance to prepare a financing proposal for projects that will modernize the country's ports and benefit the people.   Reference: Kero, Gynnie. The National (25 June 2021). “K1bil for ports upgrade”.

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PNG Business News - June 28, 2021

ABG receives K30 million from IRC

After the National Government authorized the transfer, the Autonomous Bougainville Government received K30 million in tax proceeds from the Internal Revenue Commission today. President Ishmael Toroama, members of his government, and the Bougainville Public Service received the award from IRC Commissioner-General Sam Koim. The K30 million comes from Bougainville firms' corporate income tax receipts, which is held in trust under the Bougainville Peace Agreement. Koim urged the Autonomous Bougainville Government to use the cash for projects that will boost Bougainville's budgetary self-sufficiency. According to Koim, financing the economy would enable Bougainville to fulfill one of the BPA's key pillars: fiscal self-reliance. He informed President Toroama that the Prime Minister had promised him that the money would not be under the National Government's authority. He went on to say that the money will be released at the ABG's discretion to finance its development goals, but that the funds should not be misused or squandered. President Toroama thanked the National Government and Prime Minister for releasing the monies to Bougainville as soon as possible. The K30 million would be utilized to subsidize economic operations on Bougainville in order to start generating money, according to the President. “It is time to work for the leaders, the public servants and the people of Bougainville to work together and support the ABG's economic development priorities,” President Toroama said. “With the Sharp Agreement in place we must work on building our capacity to support the drawdown of powers and functions as we prepare for independence,” President Toroama said. In the meantime, the ABG has failed to receive Custom Duties from PNG Customs, as required by the Bougainville Peace Agreement, as well as tax payments from Bougainville Copper Limited to the IRC, as ordered by a court. The duties have yet to be transferred to the Taxation Trust Account, which will subsequently be paid to the ABG by the PNG Customs Office.   Reference: Autonomous Bougainville Government website (22 June 2021). “ABG receives K30 million from IRC”.

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PNG Business News - June 28, 2021

IRC and ENB Form Partnership

The Internal Revenue Commision (IRC) and the government of East New Britain (ENB) have formed a partnership to work together on tax collection in the province. IRC commissioner-general Sam Koim and ENB administrator Wilson Matava signed a memorandum of agreement in Kokopo. ENB ranked third in terms of tax collection, but Matava and Koim believe there is still space for growth. The collaboration would allow parties to share information while also allowing the province to assist in improving tax compliance. Matava believes the province's internal income base has a lot of room to develop. “The ENB government has aspirations to gain autonomy, but that will just be a dream if your internal revenue is not strong,” he said. “We are here to help, especially in increasing goods and services tax (GST) collections, so that we will give 60 per cent.” Koim highlighted that taking advantage of the recently implemented small-business tax system has resulted in a good collaboration in the growth of micro and small companies. He said, “ENBPG has aspirations to gain autonomy, but that will just be a dream if your internal revenue is not strong. We are here to help, especially in increasing GST collections so that we will give the 60% of the “more we collect”, to help grow your Provincial economy.”

Business

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 28, 2021

Extractive Industries Transparency Commission Bill Ready for Public Consultation

PNGEIT Commission Bill Technical Working Group Team Members from left; Eva Boas (Department of Personnel Management), Vanessa Asivo (Internal Revenue Commission) Channan Kumalau (Department of Petroleum) and Lois Stanley (Constitutional Law Reform Commission) at a consultation for the proposed bill mid-June in Port Moresby.    A proposed legislation to transition the Papua New Guinea Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative National Secretariat into a statutory body is ready for public consultation beginning next month. This follows the successful conclusion of a series of consultations among legal and technical officials of key government institutions, mining & petroleum companies and civil society organizations on the elements of what is proposed to be the Papua New Guinea Extractive Industries Transparency Commission in Port Moresby last week. PNGEITI Head of National Secretariat Mr. Lucas Alkan thanked instrumentalities involved for progress made so far in shaping an appropriate legislation that will be a best fit for the replacement of the PNGEITI National Secretariat which is now situated at the Department of Treasury. “When enacted into law, the PNGEIT Commission will function as a statutory body for the implementation of the global Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Standard and principles through the publication of EITI Reports,” Mr. Alkan said. “The push for the establishment of the PNG EIT Commission is part of a bigger policy drive to institutionalize and systemize EITI reporting anchored into the PNG legal and policy framework. “PNG has made considerable progress with the publication of seven flagship PNGEITI Reports since PNG subscribed to the EITI Global Standards in 2014 to promote transparency and accountability in mining and petroleum sectors to enhance good governance and better management of proceeds from these important sectors of the economy. “Seven years into implementing the EITI Standards through the publication of EITI Country reports and considering the fact that PNG is endowed richly with mineral and petroleum resources, PNGEITI is maturing into its next stage to meet the evolving challenges of the industry. “What the PNGEITI Multi Stakeholder Group is doing now is to legally establish an entity to render administrative services for effective EITI implementation in Papua New Guinea.       “I am pleased to note that considerable progress has been made so far with a draft bill already in our hands and also pleased to note that the PNGEITI is comfortable with this piece of legislation which will undergo further public consultation in the coming months. “A technical team conducting consultation on the draft bill will commence next month and I encourage all stakeholders to participate in the consultation so that we get a final product that has the inputs of the wider public. “First consultation will be held in the New Ireland Province for the New Guinea Islands region and then move to the rest of the regions in the country” Mr. Alkan said.

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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.

Business

PNG Business News - June 23, 2021

Bougainville VP: Province Is Economically Viable for Independence

Photo Credit: RNZ / Johnny Blades Patrick Nisira, the Vice President of Bougainville, claimed that the province is economically sustainable enough to become an independent sovereign state. Nisira remarked this during the House of Representatives June session in Buka. He said that there have been complaints that the autonomous region must first achieve fiscal self-sufficiency by producing adequate income before pursuing political independence. However, according to Nisira, this has not been the case for many newly independent countries, including Papua New Guinea. He told Parliament that as Minister of Commerce, Trade and Economic Development, he has created the Low Hanging Fruit economic strategy, which would be presented to the Bougainville Executive Council for approval before being executed to increase income generation in the area. According to Nisira, the government will disclose first commercial initiatives worth 19 million US dollars, or about K68 million, early next year, as well as economic investments of 100 million US dollars, or about K400 million, that would generate up to 2000 jobs in the economy. ''Where do we draw our confidence from? When you look around, Bougainville has a lot of natural resources and we will have to manage them and run our own government. We have the Panguna Mine, and at one-time Panguna mine bankrolled the Independence of PNG in 1975, and that same Panguna mine will bankroll the Independence of Bougainville,'' said the Vice President.  Prior to Bougainville's political independence, the Vice President dismissed the individual's worries about economic independence.   Reference: PNG Facts (18 June 2021). “Bougainville Economically Viable for Independence, says ABG Vice President”.

Business

PNG Business News - June 23, 2021

PM Opens Bulolo Highway Restoration Project

Photo Credit: Department of Prime Minister & National Executive Council Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, MP, has officially opened the K66 million Bulolo Highway restoration project in Morobe Province. The Bulolo Highway, according to PM Marape, is a major route that will benefit the people of Bulolo and the Morobe Province because it is home to several important projects such as Zenag Chicken and Bulolo Forest Products. “Coffee, copra and other small to medium enterprises like alluvial mining will rely and depend on the road, " he said. “It is right and proper because there are many businesses and industries that contribute heavily and have an impact on the economy. “Now, more importantly with the up-coming Wafi Gold Mine and the existing Hidden Valley Mine, it is a right decision by the National Government and not because my Deputy Sam Basil is the Member for Bulolo. " PM Marape told hundreds of people gathered in Wau that the government's Connect PNG 2020-2040 Road Plan aimed to open up the country through roads. “By 2025, when PNG celebrates 50 years of Independence, a good road network must connect our country, " he said. “Therefore, this 9-Mile to Wau-Bulolo National Highway is very important. "The road from Garaina in Morobe Province should link Goilala in Central Province and to Kerema in Gulf Province, and open up and rehabilitate our existing road network." PM Marape asked people to look after government-funded projects, till their land, and engage in activities that would benefit them and their families, rather than getting engaged in narcotics and illegal activities. The Australian Government is funding the Bulolo Highway under the Department of Works' Transport Sector Support Program (TSSP). PM Marape announced a K1 million National Government commitment for the Bulolo District Education sector, in addition to the regular Government District Service Improvement Program (DSIP) funds. The National Gaming and Control Board, he added, will provide that funds on behalf of the national government (NGCB). “I am concerned that we are creating many high schools, and there are many children coming out of our education system and do not have a second chance, " PM Marape said. “I am appealing to students who are wandering around to get enrolled in the Flexible Open Distance Education (FODE) and other technical and vocational centres." The National Government also wants the National Development Bank (NDB) to build a branch in Wau, according to PM Marape. He announced K50,000 in financing for rugby league tournaments in Wau and Bulolo, as well as K50,000 apiece for women's and men's basketball competitions in Wau. PM Marape travelled to Wagau LLG with DPM Basil to kick off the sealing and upgrading of the Gabensis to Buang road. He handed over K3 million to contractor Kaia Works for the sealing of an additional 8 kilometres of road, which would assist thousands of residents in the Buang LLG. PM Marape and DPM Basil mended political disagreements during the no-confidence vote in November while in Wagau. DPM Basil expressed regret for listening to other politicians who wanted to replace PM Marape, and he apologized to PM Marape for lying to him. He stated that he will cooperate with Prime Minister Marape now and until the 2022 election. PM Marape expressed his delight at DPM Basil's return to the government and stated that he accepts him fully. “I want to say that Minister Basil is a leader in his own right and has the right to make his own move and decision, " he said. “I did not ask him to leave and always told him his position of Deputy Prime Minister was still vacant for him to return and reclaim." Under the Bulolo District Rural Electrification Program, PM Marape also turned on the lights in Mapos 2 Village in Buang LLG. DPM Basil was commended by PM Marape for providing services and development to his people, and he was asked to keep up the excellent work. He slept at DPM Basil's house in Sagaiyo Village for the night. He was also present at the opening of the Mumeng District Rural Local Lock-up, for which the National Government has pledged K50 million. “The plan is to build a proper Correctional Service lock-up and will ensure the inmates can attend the Mumeng vocational school,” PM Marape said. He also unveiled the ‘Golpu House' building of the Mumeng LLG District, the Mumeng Town road sealing and street lighting project, the National Pastors' Conference Church of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of PNG Mumeng District and the Mumeng Town project.   Reference: Department of Prime Minister and National Executive Council (19 June 2021). “PM Marape launches over K60 million worth of road projects in Morobe”.

Business

PNG Business News - June 23, 2021

Customs Revenue from Taxes and Excise Decreases

Photo Credit: South Pacific International Container Terminal Ltd In comparison to the first quarter of this year, revenue from customs taxes and excise has decreased in this quarter. In the first quarter of the fiscal year 2021, K890 million in taxes were collected. David Towe, the Commissioner of the PNG Customs Service, confirmed this. He did not say how much of a reduction there was from the first quarter, but he did say it was due to a drop in trade worldwide.  He stated that there is still a need to guarantee compliance in order to assist correct the income collection shortfall. “In the first three months we were able to exceed our revenue projections and that came at the back of some improved compliance activities. We collected in excess of close to K50 million in unpaid taxes. “We had conducted a revenue recovery exercise that went very well. We not only collected revenue but we also uncovered where the system collapsed, all the loopholes where the revenue leakages were,” Mr Towe said. However, he stated that they began to see a decline in revenue for two or three weeks in this quarter. To remedy this, Customs was instructed to increase compliance and ensure that every import was thoroughly inspected so that no money was lost.  “We also have to ensure that we maintain control because not every importer is compliant and there will always be some who will try to cut corners to get away, whether intentionally or unintentionally. The most recent example is the importer who was caught. “We cannot say that all importers are being compliant so we need to be extra vigilant to ensure every importer is clearing their cargo at the right quantity and rates.” Customs income rose up again in the last check and during the last two or three weeks, according to Towe, who attributed this to improvements in monitoring and maintaining control. He expects consistent growth in revenue in the coming quarter, as long as due diligence and compliance for all imports are maintained.   Reference:  Wakasup, Melissa. Loop (21 June 2021). “Customs Revenue Slumps”. 

Business

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.

Business

PNG Business News - June 21, 2021

Westpac Acquisition Awaiting Clearance

Kina Bank's acquisition of Westpac's operations is awaiting clearance from the treasury and the ICCC. Kina Bank has submitted an application to BPNG to purchase Westpac Business, which has been referred to the Treasury for a final decision, according to BPNG assistant governor Ellison Pidik. He added that all relevant information about the purchase application had been given to the Minister in charge and that BPNG is awaiting his answer to the letter issued by BPNG Governor Loi Bakani. After receiving a response, BPNG will proceed to the next step of alerting Kina Bank of the decision. Kina Bank applied to them and the Independent Consumer Competition Commission (ICCC) as the appropriate licensing agencies to conduct the application, according to Pidik. According to Pidik, Kina Bank's application to the ICCC is for competition purposes and for the ICCC to ensure that the appropriate regulatory processes under the ICCC Act are followed. Pidik went on to say that Kina Bank's application to BPNG went through the necessary channels and is currently awaiting a response from the Treasurer. Meanwhile, ICCC Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer Paulus Ain reiterated Wednesday that Kina Bank's authorization letter to purchase 89.91 per cent of shares in Westpac Bank (PNG) Limited (Westpac PNG) is still seeking final determination. According to Ain, Kina Bank's application is still being evaluated, with a final decision likely by August of this year. He explained that before the final judgment is made, all parties must agree with the ICCC on the publishing of a draft decision so that the applicant and other stakeholders can submit their case based on the draft findings. “We will call a conference and listen to the applicant and other relevant stakeholders to present their case based on the draft determination and after that, once we have come to an agreement, we (ICCC) will then proceed to progress the final determination decision for this acquisition.”   Reference: Kamus, Maxine. Post-Courier (17 June 2021). “Westpac Purchase Pending Approval”.

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PNG Business News - June 21, 2021

Australian Government Prolongs Ban of Foreign Arrivals into Cairns

Photo Credit: Air Niugini The Australian government has prolonged the ban of foreign arrivals into Cairns until the end of this month. This is in order to manage the possibility of incoming travellers subsequently testing positive for COVID-19 during their stay in quarantine facilities. As a result, flights from Papua New Guinea to Cairns have been cancelled from June 19 to June 30. Passengers with Cairns flight tickets at this time should contact Air Niugini or their travel agent to discuss rebooking possibilities. Air Niugini continues to offer six weekly flights to Brisbane and one weekly flight to Sydney. Air Niugini apologizes for the inconvenience and thanks to its customers for their patience and understanding as it navigates these new border restrictions.   Reference: Port-Courier (18 June 2021). “Air Nuigini Flights to Cairns Still Suspended”.

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PNG Business News - June 21, 2021

PNG Acquires More Doses of AstraZeneca Vaccine from New Zealand

Photo Credit: PNG Health Department   Through the COVAX facility, Papua New Guinea has acquired a further 146,000 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine from New Zealand. Although testing is restricted, the true number of people affected is anticipated to be considerably higher. PNG has documented over 17,000 confirmed cases of the virus, the great majority of which occurred in the last several months. Officially, 167 people have died. The doses donated by New Zealand, according to PNG's Health Secretary, Osborne Liko, would strengthen the country's immunization program and guarantee that more people, especially critical frontline workers, are protected. "These doses will ensure more lives are saved and that frontline workers can continue to provide essential services to the people of Papua New Guinea,'' Dr Liko said. However, PNG officials have had a difficult time getting people to vaccinate, with reluctance being a major roadblock. Only 41,000 people, most vital employees and about 7,000 health personnel, have received the first dosage of Astrazeneca since March. However, up to a hundred thousand Astrazeneca pills provided by Australia and India earlier this year are expected to go to waste next month when they expire, unless the rate of adoption rises. Dr Daoni Esorom, Papua New Guinea's Deputy Pandemic Response Controller, said the 146,000 doses sent by New Zealand will assist the Department of Health and the National Control Centre is rolling out the second dose of Astrazeneca among frontline health workers and other essential front line workers. The fact that PNG is receiving 20% of the doses sent to it from the COVAX facility, while partners such as the Australian and New Zealand governments will support additional doses to the PNG government - all of which are purported to enable the government to vaccinate 50% of its eligible population - according to Dr Daoni. Phillip Taula, the New Zealand High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, recently received the dosages at Jackson's Airport. "As whanaunga, friends, and partners, Aotearoa New Zealand stands alongside the Pacific at this difficult time," he said. "PNG's success in tackling COVID-19 has been hard-won at an enormous cost to your economy and livelihoods. New Zealand is proud to be partnering with PNG to help us all get through this."   Reference: RNZ (18 June 2021). “PNG receives 146-thousand vaccine doses from NZ”. 

Business

PNG Business News - June 17, 2021

NEC Adopts PNG IP Policy

The Papua New Guinea intellectual property (IP) policy has been adopted by the National Executive Council for incorporation into national development efforts. The goal, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce and Industry Minister Sam Basil, is to benefit the people by enabling and promoting increased use of the IP system. “These benefits will emerge from the greater use of the IP system to manage and exploit the intellectual property they create,” he said. “Over the years, the Government has realised the importance of establishing an adequate and balanced intellectual property and one that fuels innovation and creativity.  “These benefits will emerge from the greater use of the IP system to manage the intellectual property they create.  “This will ensure that those who create new intellectual property in PNG are able to derive a fair reward from those who use that intellectual property.  “Achievement of this primary objective will also boost PNG’s intra-national and international trade encouraging increased activity, economic growth and prosperity.”  The increasing use of the intellectual property system is intended to:  PROMOTE creative and inventive activities in all sectors; I INCREASE the amount and types of intellectual property asset protection created in the public and commercial sectors, as well as in education; To achieve sustainable and responsible economic development and national prosperity, STIMULATE research and development activity, technology transfer, and commercialization in productive sectors;  FACILITATE increased entrepreneurial activity nationally; and  PROTECT, ENFORCE, PRESERVE, CONSERVE, and USE cultural heritage.   “While Papua New Guinea is heavily dependent on the non-renewable resources, there is a need to embrace the power of innovation and creativity as a tool for economic development and support the development of an effective intellectual property system,” Basil said.   Reference: The National (15 June 2021). “Cabinet endorses IP strategy”.

Business

PNG Business News - June 17, 2021

Board: Gaming Industry Income to Rise

According to the National Gaming and Control Board, the gaming industry's income may rise from K30 million to K20 billion. During the new board's swearing-in ceremony, Imelda Agon, the board's chief executive officer, stated that the gaming industry's goals included wealth development through tourism. “This is really good for the country and a lot of things have changed for the NGCB,” Agon said.  The new board, according to Chairman Clemence Kanau, is made up of skilled and experienced persons from the public and private sectors, as well as churches. “We accommodate every view,” Kanau said. The board will be looking at creating opportunities through its various programmes.  “We will contribute immensely not only by what we do in the industry but as a conduit to that, we can turn the tide in many aspects of our economy.”  According to Kanau, a policy on job creation will be implemented, in which recipients of NCBG assistance must demonstrate that at least employment will be generated as a result of the financing. “In that manner, we address the issue of unemployment.”  Kanau explained that the new board had a backlog of tasks to complete and had no time to squander.   Reference: The National (15 June 2021). “NGCB optimistic about revenue”.

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