Pacific Industries invests in PNG to ride out tough times
‘Home-base’, were the words Company Director of Pacific Industries Limited, Ashlon Chue, chose to describe Papua New Guinea and the company’s operations.
He said the Chue family, having come to PNG in the early 1900’s have ‘always maintained the philosophy of Papua New Guinea as home-base’.
“So we have always seen the positive side of investing in PNG and continue to invest in our business here,” Ashlon said revealing plans for a second state of the art Carbonate Production Facility (beverages) and export plans for the Pacific.”
Ashlon and dad Mr Paul Chue, Managing Director of Pacific Industries Ltd, were responding to questions about the current tough economic challenges and investments in PNG during an exclusive interview with PNG Business News.
‘Business is tough at the moment with delays in new major projects with a shortage of foreign exchange, PIL is not immune and feeling this impacts in our daily business,” Mr Chue said.
‘We have invested heavily in our PNG business...we are here to stay, he said.
Ashlon further revealed that in past five years PIL has invested significantly in PNG, particularly in its Rabaul plant which now has a state of the art Carbonate Production Facility (beverages).
The investments have increased production and distribution in all their beverage ranges.
“Two of our focus projects this year are the major expansion of our Port Moresby and Lae facilities. The construction of a new warehousing facility in Port Moresby is 50% completed which will give PIL three times the amount of current warehouse space. A similar model is planned for roll out in Lae later this year, and might I add, we are very proud to relay that the POM project from start to end will be built by PNG owned businesses,” Ashlon said proudly.
The PNG companies are J&M sons for surveying, PhilMak engineering services and Anuitua constructions.
These new facilities will see an increase to current national staff ceiling of 1000 employees across an established distribution network that includes 11 depots nationwide. It has also invested heavily in training, up-skilling and mentoring program for national employees.
Last year, Pacific Industries picked up the Pepsi franchise which has helped make up for some of the drop in revenue sales.
“It has softened the blow for Pacific Industries,” Paul says.
As one of the oldest companies in Papua New Guinea, Pacific Industries initially set up as a manufacturer of beverages in Rabaul and now has depots in Pom Moresby, Lae, Mt Hagen, Goroka, Madang, Kokopo, Rabaul, Kavieng, Kimbe, Buka Island and Arawa in the Autonomous Region of Bouganville (AROB).
MAJOR FOCUS AREAS 2020
Increasing our production capabilities –warehouses, equipment
Development of our national workforce with ongoing trainings
Up-skilling of senior management team and localisation programs
Ashlon commended the Government’s move to support local industry in 2018 that introduced new laws to ensure local companies are not being disadvantaged by fraudulent and illegal activities and imports.
“We are very optimistic about the outlook for PNG. It has huge potential in many areas that are yet untapped, not just the resource sector. We are not concerned, but optimistic...,” Ashlon says.
“We are here to stay, all our investments are here,” Paul said.
Despite the tough times, for Pacific Industries, ‘home-base’ PNG will come out bigger and better.
Pacific Industries like many business houses has scaled down operations and put in place mitigation strategies and measures due to COVID-19 lock down, after PNG Prime Minister James Marape declared a SOE following PNG’s first confirmed case of coronavirus.