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China-PNG sign huge deal for roads & infrastructure

China-PNG sign road deal
PNG's Peter O'Neill signs a mammoth infrastructure deal with China Railway Group officials

STAFF REPORTER | Global Construction Review

LONDON - China Railway Group and Papua New Guinea have signed agreements for three projects worth about $4 billion - a quarter of the country’s GDP - to upgrade 1,600km of highways and give PNG its first modern road network.

At present, the capital Port Moresby is not linked to any major towns and most highland villages can only be reached by light aircraft or on foot.

The country’s main road, the Highland Highway, is a single carriageway pocked with potholes.

The scheme will also include the Ramu Highway between Watarais and Madang, the Gulf to Southern Highlands highway, the Sepik Coastal Highway, the Magi Highway between Hoskins and Kimbe and other road systems.

Further projects include two special economic zones for the industrial processing of agricultural produce. One of these is will be a 150ha development in the Eastern Highlands and the other will be a 130ha project in the Western Highlands.

There will also be a $32 million scheme in Goroka to improve the water supply.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said the deal was the result of PNG’s place in the maritime element of the Belt and Road initiative, China’s grand strategy for developing trading relations and investment markets in Australasia and Eurasia.

The deals were signed with PNG regional governors and Zhang Zongyan, the president of China Railway Group.

The first project to be developed will be highlands industrial parks, which will concentrate on export crops such as mushrooms, rice and livestock.

A scientific and technological research base and training centre will help promote the modernisation of PNG agricultural science.

The high-priority economic road project plans to upgrade 10 highways that will link and connect the whole of PNG.

Comments

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Wesley Waninara

Some years ago in ENB, COVEC (a company from China), did road sealing of the road that was perfectly designed and sealed (pre-1975 Dept of Comm Works), from the junction of Kokopo Secondary School up the Toma road down to Kerevat, and they delivered huge pot holes akin to the crater of Mt Tavurvur volcano after only 3 years of completion.

And yes, the Chinese worked every day, including Sundays, and my folks in Vunamami village offered them fruits on Sundays thinking they were God-sent.

Jordan Dean

Saw a post by Haron Jeremiah this morning:

So I had a conversation with one of the long time renowned businessman in PNG originally from Europe. He has grown large empires here in PNG over decades. He sat on his custom made chair, one hand holding his cigar while the other cuddling his large English Mastiff beast below a "NO SMOKING SIGN". It was just 8 am and the sun was just popping over the 6 mile hills, the morning headline has just given this gentleman a bad start for the day. As I walked past him, he said in a worried, more like choked up tone "Hey wantok, did you see the headlines on the dailies?" I turned and replied "Yes Sir, the hotel maids shoved them beneath my door and I had a glimpse while I was rushing out!" He went on, "wantok, it was USA, then Australia, then NZ and now its PAPUA NEW CHINA". "Soon we'll all be ****. All the contracts are going to these fellas!"


Seeing the frustration on his already wrinkled face, I added, "wantok this is not the first time I heard, besides I am not surprised at all!" He replied "well you should be surprised that the public is not making any noise about it, this is crazy!!" in his Italian English dialect....something for us to think about!!

Philip Fitzpatrick

China Railway Group is an interesting company. It has been in PNG for quite a while now. If you wander around Moresby you will see their sign on many construction sites.

What's interesting about those sites is that all the workers seem to be Chinese.

When I first saw them around 2014 I wondered why a railway company was putting up buildings in PNG.

They have also been there long enough to know who to bribe. Curiously about as long as Chairman O'Neill has been in power.

Kevin 2017 isn't in New York anymore William - he's at Oxford doing a PhD that focuses on Chinese president Xi Jinping.

No doubt he's getting ready for when the Chinese move into Australia in a big way.

Barbara Short

I put this on the East Sepik Development Forum and had this comment......The image is actually a file photo of a bilateral meeting between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's and PM O'Neill at one of the airways meeting rooms during his visit to PNG several years ago..

Ed Brumby

Spot on, Phil.

I wonder, though, how much Chinese labour will be imported?

William Dunlop

Phil. To hell with poverty, Send for Rudd the Dudd and his New York Thinktank.

William Dunlop

Phil. The Chinese now have their P N G Base.
The 'grafter' O'Neill has been well and truly bought and paid for.
Whilst our armchair bound flower powered Foreign Minister dilly dallies.
And Mutton Dutton become's the Deportation Dictator.

Philip Fitzpatrick

This is all stuff the PNG government could and should have done years ago.

Now they are getting someone else to do it and no doubt have sold off resources and power to do it.

I hope the Chinese have factored in a maintenance element. If not it will all fall apart within a few years.

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