Business, resources & economy Feed

Sam Koim’s new appointment

Sam koim
Sam Koim - former corruption buster, now the new Commissioner-General of PNG's Internal Revenue Commission

SAM KOIM
| New Head of the Internal Revenue Commission | Edited extract

PORT MORESBY - My vision for the Internal Revenue Commission [IRC] is: “building the foundations of a robust, modern and efficient tax administration”.

Albert Einstein once said “intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them”. It is logical, not necessarily genius, to find lasting preventative measures instead of costly and repetitive firefighting solutions.

Continue reading "Sam Koim’s new appointment" »


Barrick Gold forges ahead

PorgeraJEFF LEWIS & MELANIE BURTON
| Reuters | Extract

MELBOURNE - Barrick Gold is set to elevate its troubled Papua New Guinea mine to its top-tier assets, despite landowner and government demands to cede a larger stake and deteriorating security at the joint venture with China's Zijin Mining.

With a 20-year lease renewal application in the balance, Barrick has faced backlash from PNG landowners and residents.

Continue reading "Barrick Gold forges ahead" »


Regulating private security in PNG

SecurityGRANT WALTON & SINCLAIR DINNEN
| Devpolicy Blog

CANBERRA - As anyone who has visited Papua New Guinea in the past 20 years can attest, the private security industry is booming.

Office buildings are often only accessible by passing by rolls of sharp barbed wire, pointed fences and uniformed guards with large caps.

Continue reading "Regulating private security in PNG" »


Cash crunch as debt repayment soars

James marape
James Marape and Australian high commissioner Bruce Davis - PNG's problems are bound to be Australia's problems too

JONATHAN BARRETT & CHARLOTTE GREENFIELD
| Reuters

SYDNEY & WELLINGTON - Papua New Guinea’s annual debt repayments to China are forecast to increase 25% by 2023, new budget figures show, at the same time as the Pacific nation falls to its largest ever deficit.

The resource-rich country, which is at the centre of a diplomatic tussle between China and the United States, has blamed extravagant spending by the previous administration for its souring finances, which will require the government to borrow even more to pay the bills.

Continue reading "Cash crunch as debt repayment soars" »


5G, PNG & big power politics

5g
5G technology is another arena of big power rivalry, with PNG caught between US and Chinese interests

GABRIEL RAMOI

WEWAK - Big data mining and the new science of singularity and its application in nanotechnology, nanobiology, machine learning and manufacturing have crept up on us in Papua New Guinea.

The announcement by the PNG government’s telco provider, Kumul Telikom, that it had reached an agreement with Huawei of China to roll out 5G starting in urban centres in 2020 threw our small science and engineering community into disarray.

Continue reading "5G, PNG & big power politics" »


Highlands mushrooms ready for market

Eastern Highlands mushrooms
Eastern Highlands mushrooms

SCOTT WAIDE
| My Land, My Country | Edited extracts

LAE - Usually the mushrooms we get in Papua New Guinea are expensive and the technology behind them is a mystery.

But in Goroka, a team of Chinese scientists from the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University are teaching Eastern Highlanders how to grow their own mushrooms.

Continue reading "Highlands mushrooms ready for market" »


Work your land says treasurer

Women are a prominent force in PNG agriculture (Johnny Blades)
Women play a prominent role in PNG agriculture (Johnny Blades)

NEWS DESK
| Radio New Zealand

PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea's treasurer, Ian Ling-Stuckey, is encouraging citizens to work their land and develop agriculture ventures.

Mr Ling-Stuckey said significant funding had been allocated to the agriculture sector in the 2020 budget, in particular to assist cocoa, coffee and fresh produce development.

Continue reading "Work your land says treasurer" »


Geologist killed by B’ville ‘thugs’

John Momis
Dr Momis expressed disgust at the Kalia Group for allowing its geologist into an area where there were criminal elements resisting exploration. He has suspended the company's mining licence

NEWS DESK
| Radio New Zealand | Extracts

BUKA - A geologist has been killed in Bougainville by what president John Momis has described as a group of criminal thugs.

The victim, Terry Win Kilya, from Enga Province was an employee of Kalia-Toremana Joint Venture Limited, which has been conducting mineral exploration in a disputed area.

Continue reading "Geologist killed by B’ville ‘thugs’" »


Alas, everything’s a deal these days

Phil Fitzpatrick at mic
Phil Fitzpatrick - "These days the strategic value of the small Pacific island nations is just as much a commodity as oil, gas and metals"

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Ever since neo-liberalism gained ground in the 1990s governments have persistently used economics to define their policies.

Neo-liberalism is used to refer to market-oriented policies such as eliminating price controls, deregulating capital markets, lowering trade barriers and reducing state influence in the economy, especially through privatisation and austerity.

Continue reading "Alas, everything’s a deal these days" »


Osikaiyang landowners out of order

Osikaiyang Landowners
BCL is tiring of Osikaiyang landowners who under the Bougainville Mining Act have no status in representing landowners and own no mineral rights

DENIKA SEETO
| Bougainville Copper Ltd

BUKA - Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) says it is both regrettable and disappointing to see members of the Special Mining Lease Osikaiyang Landowners Association (SMLOLA) issuing misleading and provocative statements following Bougainville’s peaceful and successfully conducted referendum.

BCL again repeat its calls for SMLOLA to desist from purporting to speak on behalf of all Panguna landowners as part of its ongoing campaign to undermine Bougainville Copper Ltd.

Continue reading "Osikaiyang landowners out of order" »


Saving the Sepik from Frieda mine

FriedaROSA KOIAN

PORT MORESBY - A photo posted on Facebook showing dried freshwater fish at Wewak market has sparked a discussion on the future of the Sepik River.

In the river’s headwaters, the Frieda copper and gold mine is pushing ahead with its development plans.

The Sepik is 1,100km long and empties into the Bismarck Sea. The river system’s 430,000 people use the river for food, education, transport, health and culture.

Continue reading "Saving the Sepik from Frieda mine" »


Marape urges patience over Porgera

Landowners
Porgera landowners protest against Canadian company Barrick Gold Ltd

NEWS DESK
| Radio New Zealand | Edited

AUCKLAND - Papua New Guinea's prime minister James Marape has urged patience while negotiations continue over the contract for the Porgera gold mine.

Canadian company Barrick Gold Ltd, which operates the mine in Enga Province with China's Zijin Mining Group, is pushing to renew its contract.

Continue reading "Marape urges patience over Porgera" »


ADB helps Kina Bank improve services

Kina
Kina Bank's equity boost from the Asian Development Bank will help promote its lending to small business customers

NEWS DESK
| Asian Development Bank

PORT MORESBY - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has made a $10 million (K34 million) equity investment into Kina Securities Limited, a fast-growing financial services company in Papua New Guinea.

The investment will help to increase the availability of sustainable financial services and support growth in PNG.

Continue reading "ADB helps Kina Bank improve services" »


Something fishy about MRDC deal

Mek
Sir Mekere Morauta - "Foreign consultants have been boasting of their potentially dominant market power "

SIR MEKERE MORAUTA | Edited

PORT MORESBY - Arrangements between two foreign consultancies and the Mineral Resources Development Corporation to build power plants might be treating PNG landowners as fronts to ship out millions of kina.

Under arrangements I’ve been made aware of, the interests of foreign companies seem to have been given preference over a cheap and reliable national power supply and financial returns to the PNG LNG landowner groups who have invested in MRDC’s power-generation plans.

Continue reading "Something fishy about MRDC deal" »


Debt repayment: Tough year 2020

Ian Ling Stuckey MP
Ian Ling Stuckey - During the O'Neill regime “every year the average living standard of every person went backward by over K100”

SCOTT WAIDE
| EMTV Online | Edited

PORT MORESBY - The Papua New Guinea government is projecting a  tough year in 2020 as it contends with a shrinking economy and a K4 billion budget deficit.

Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey has handed down a K18.7 billion budget whilst issuing a scathing attack on former prime minister Peter O’Neill for what he described as the “mismanagement of the PNG economy”.

Continue reading "Debt repayment: Tough year 2020" »


B’ville to revive mining proposal

Raymond masono
Raymond Masono - "“Panguna is the most likely project that can bankroll Bougainville’s independence from PNG”

NEWS DESK
| Reuters | Extract

SYDNEY — Bougainville vice-president Raymond Masono said he will revive a plan to overhaul the region’s mining laws after its ongoing independence referendum, which could strip the former operator of the Panguna gold and copper project of its interests.

The proposed changes, which have been criticised by Panguna landowners, would also erase an interest in the project held by the Papua New Guinea government, potentially complicating negotiations between the two governments after the referendum.

Continue reading "B’ville to revive mining proposal" »


Australia to loan PNG K1 billion

Marape Morrison
James Marape and Scott Morrison - Australia's billion kina loan equals about what PNG lost in its ill-fated venture into Oil Search

TOM McILROY
| Australian Financial Review | Extracts

SYDNEY - Australia will loan Papua New Guinea $442 million (K1 billion)) in direct budget assistance designed to secure essential government services and rebuff financial overtures from China.

The Morrison government agreed to the loan request from PNG prime minister James Marape, offering immediate financial support linked to his plans for longer-term economic reforms in the struggling nation.

Continue reading "Australia to loan PNG K1 billion" »


Is Gordons a turning point for PNG markets?

Gordons exterior
Port Moresby's new Gordons Market - symbol of progress or another chance to sink into chaos and anarchy?

BUSA JEREMIAH WENOGO

PORT MORESBY - The much talked about refurbished Gordons Market was officially opened on the 31 October at a cost of K30 million, most of the funds coming from the New Zealand Government and the National Capital Development Commission.

The market is said to be the biggest fresh produce market in the Pacific and will cater for up to 1,500 vendors.

Continue reading "Is Gordons a turning point for PNG markets?" »


Limited pot of money, says Treasurer

PNG Budget
Ian Ling-Stuckey and his Treasury team – “The budget process is a tough one – a demanding one requiring balancing different claims on a very limited pot of money”

IAN LING-STUCKEY MP
| PNG Treasury Minister

PORT MORESBY - Budget repair is difficult. It requires an honest approach, one that exposes the economic lies of the O’Neill years.

It requires an ability to make tough decisions, such as the K1,482 million spending cuts in the 2019 supplementary budget.

Continue reading "Limited pot of money, says Treasurer" »


Ok Tedi locked in new legal fight

Landowner Alex Maun
Landowner Alex Maun in the dying forest near Ok Tedi River. He sued BHP in the 1990s (Alex de la Rue)

NICK TOSCANO
| Sydney Morning Herald/The Age

MELBOURNE - A fresh legal dispute has erupted over control of a fund set up to benefit the tens of thousands of villagers affected by mining giant BHP's environmental disaster at the Ok Tedi mine in Papua New Guinea more than 20 years ago.

The Ok Tedi mine – which BHP co-owned with the PNG government until selling its stake in 2002 – discharged tens of millions of tonnes of mine waste into the local river system during the 1980s and 1990s, contaminating fish and trees and devastating the area's economy.

Continue reading "Ok Tedi locked in new legal fight" »


It was truly a night to remember

Kumbon - 2 of Lisa Arut's designs
Models showcase two of Lisa Arut's original designs at the PNG Fashion Week grand finale

DANIEL KUMBON

PORT MORESBY – “Last night’s Papua New Guinea fashion week extravaganza was mind boggling.

“It was a night of cultural renaissance, an awakening of another kind. Fashion has never been my forte but last night was a night to remember.”

These are the words I entered in my diary last Sunday morning after attending the memorable fashion week grand finale, named appropriately ‘The Awakening the Night Before’.

Continue reading "It was truly a night to remember" »


Corruption costs billions, trashes economy

Eddie Tanago (2)
Eddie Tanago - Act Now has identified 19 measures the government should use to attack corruption

EDDIE TANAGO
| Campaign Manager | Act Now!

PORT MORESBY - International research shows that corruption is costing Papua New Guinea billions of kina every year. It is ruining our economy and impoverishing the nation.

If the government is serious about making PNG ‘the richest black nation on earth’ then it must introduce a raft of reforms to ensure we have open and transparent government.

Continue reading "Corruption costs billions, trashes economy" »


The true state of PNG’s budget

Ian Ling Stuckey MP
Treasurer Ian Ling Stuckey - "The former prime minister Peter O'Neill has left PNG with an illegal debt legacy"

IAN LING-STUCKEY MP
| Minister for Treasury | Extracts

PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea’s budget deficit had climbed to K4,636 million – the legacy of former prime minister Peter O’Neill.

Budget deficits add to public debt. This means the O’Neill regime’s policies were going to add another K4,636 million to public debt in 2019. PNG’s public debt was therefore going to increase to an extraordinary K33,045 million.

Continue reading "The true state of PNG’s budget" »


PNG has options to solve its budget crisis

David Kitchnoge
David Kitchnoge - "PNG does have options and we need to go into negotiations knowing what they are"

DAVID KITCHNOGE

PORT MORESBY - The fact that the International Monetary Fund admitted its failure in its assistance to Greece showed it was willing to learn from its mistakes and avoid the pitfalls in similar cases.

The key is always that, whatever solution Papua New Guinea adopts to get our economy going again, would be a negotiated outcome with multilateral financial institutions like IMF.

Continue reading "PNG has options to solve its budget crisis" »


Capitalism: No morality outbreak any time soon

Smith
Adam Smith did not envisage a world dominated by huge, impersonal corporations but understood the economic and social dangers they posed

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - Like Phil Fitzpatrick (‘Is moral capitalism even possible?’), I have been thinking about whether capitalism can ever be conducted in a moral and ethical way.

And like him, I can remember another time and place where the absence of great corporations meant capitalism worked along the lines foreseen by Adam Smith when he wrote ‘Wealth of Nations’.

Continue reading "Capitalism: No morality outbreak any time soon" »


Rich paradise or poor third world nation?

Apprehensive boyJEFFREY FEBI

LUFA - There's disagreement about whether Papua New Guinea is rich or impoverished.

Many people, including leaders like Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare and current prime minister James Marape, support the view that we are in fact rich.

Many others, including myself, differ. We believe Papua New Guinea is a poor nation.

Continue reading "Rich paradise or poor third world nation?" »


Could PNG’s kaukau crops be threatened?

Kaukau1
Cultivating kaukau in the highlands - there are 1,000 varieties of sweet potato in PNG alone

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, the sweet potato is the world’s seventh most important crop in terms of the weight of food produced.

Sweet potato was first domesticated in the Americas more than 5,000 years ago but didn’t reach Papua New Guinea until about 500 years ago.

When it did it created major shifts in settlement patterns and accelerated population growth.

Continue reading "Could PNG’s kaukau crops be threatened?" »


Bougainville: If it’s to be capitalism, let it be moral

Roka - Leonard on the shore at Kangu
Leonard Roka on the shore at Kangu - looking across to the Solomons triggers thoughts of the small friends who helped Bougainville achieve its post-crisis peace

LEONARD FONG ROKA

PANGUNA - The population of Bougainville is around 300,000 so, when looking at other small Pacific island states and their standard of living, the province’s development does not need a mine operating at the scale we knew at Panguna before the Bougainville conflict.

All of us know that the Papua New Guinea government does not clothe us, it does not feed us and it does not protect us.

Continue reading "Bougainville: If it’s to be capitalism, let it be moral" »


We stripped & skinned; but money’s not security

Roka - Teacher in the Panguna classroom
Inside the John Roka school, but "the able population tilts each day not to education but towards where it smells the money in the burrows"

LEONARD FONG ROKA

PANGUNA – No, I’m not lost from my PNG Attitude family; just accumulating more energy living in the midst of the corporate-mining-politics ridden Panguna mountains trying to educate my young people in a little early childhood institution.

It’s known locally as the John Roka Memorial School and was established by my siblings in honour of our West New Britain father, John Roka, killed by the Bougainville Revolutionary Army in that terrible civil war.

Continue reading "We stripped & skinned; but money’s not security" »


Engan yakait seeds selling like crazy in Moresby

Paul & wheelbarrow load of seedlings
Paul Kastas & his wheelbarrow load of yakait seedlings - just 10 kina each

DANIEL KUMBON

PORT MORESBY – Just recently I was proud to see Paul Kastas at Waikele Market in Port Moresby.

I knew him because many years ago he used to sell Enga Nius for us on the streets of Wabag. We lived in the same location at Aipus in Wabag town.

Now, here at a market in Moresby, he was selling something very important in Enga society - yakait (also known as tokak) seedlings.

Continue reading "Engan yakait seeds selling like crazy in Moresby" »


PNG cash flow crippled says Treasurer

Ian Ling-Stuckey
Ian Ling-Stuckey - "Poor national budgets have distorted development planning and service delivery"

KEITH JACKSON

PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea’s treasurer, Ian Ling-Stuckey, has said the O’Neill government’s mismanagement of the economy has crippled the nation’s cash flows.

“There is some bad news coming but this government has already commenced work on solutions,” Mr Ling-Stuckey said in a media release.

Continue reading "PNG cash flow crippled says Treasurer" »


Hela: Will the people avenge Big Pig LNG?

Prized big pig in the main street of Tari (Albert Tagua)
Prized big pig in the main street of Tari (Albert Tagua)

SIMON DAVIDSON
| An entry in the Crocodile Prize

SONOMA – The highlands province of Hela is host to a multi-billion dollar liquefied natural gas project. But operating alongside the wonders of modern technology is a culture full of rich tradition and custom.

Hela functions on the patrilineal system, where the man owns everything: the land, the pigs and he is the heir of the father’s riches, knowledge of the sacred rites and traditional history.

Continue reading "Hela: Will the people avenge Big Pig LNG?" »


Neo-colonialism: It’s not personal; it’s just business

Not personalCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - The sanctions imposed upon Iran by the USA are causing a huge amount of damage to that country’s economy.

The people of Iran, as distinct from the ruling regime, are suffering a great deal as a consequence.

What surprised me was that an apparently quite closed and tightly controlled economy like Iran’s was so susceptible to the influence of the US government’s edicts.

Continue reading "Neo-colonialism: It’s not personal; it’s just business" »


PNG in 'economic hole' says new treasurer

Ian Ling-Stuckey
 Ian Ling-Stuckey - "The PNG  economy has been struggling and bleeding. Budget prospects for 2019 are extremely difficult. There is bad news coming"

NEWS DESK | Radio New Zealand | Edited

PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea is in an "increasingly fragile fiscal position" and an "economic hole", according to PNG's new Treasury Minister Ian Ling-Stuckey.

The precarious situation was revealed by a check of the government's finances by treasury and economic officials.

Continue reading "PNG in 'economic hole' says new treasurer" »


Did 'presource curse' just deliver a pile of dung?

Continue reading "Did 'presource curse' just deliver a pile of dung?" »


Malaysian companies exploit oil palm workers

Children on oil palm estate
Children on an oil palm estate - life in camps with no schools and their birthright disappearing

NEWS DESK | Sarawak Report | Edited extract

SARAWAK, MALAYSIA - Dayak landowners of Sarawak will take no pleasure, but experience little surprise, in hearing how the people of Papua New Guinea have been ill-treated by logging and oil palm plantation conglomerates based in East Malaysia.

These are companies who first robbed Sarawakians of their land rights before extending operations into virtually all the remaining timber reserves on the planet.

Continue reading "Malaysian companies exploit oil palm workers" »


Date set for UBS loan inquiry; Australian judge will assist

John Gilmour
John Gilmour - Scottish-born Australian former judge and expert in commercial law will join Sir Salamo Injia in UBS-Oil Search inquiry

JONATHAN BARRETT | Reuters

SYDNEY - Papua New Guinea will start preliminary hearings on Thursday 19 September into the terms of a K2.8 billion loan from Swiss bank UBS used for an ill-fated government investment in the gas sector, the inquiry’s chairman said on Monday.

The timetable and terms of reference, released for the first time, also include a focus on how the UBS loan used to buy a government stake in PNG-focused energy firm Oil Search was obtained, whether it resembled previous loans, and whether the government broke its own rules in taking out the loan.

Chairman Salamo Injia, a former chief justice, said in a statement that retired Australian judge John Gilmour would also join the inquiry as a second commissioner.

“The appointments of [an] overseas commissioner and counsel were necessary given the international dimensions of the UBS transactions,” Salamo said.

Continue reading "Date set for UBS loan inquiry; Australian judge will assist" »


Can two of PNG's most depressed regions converge & prosper?

Fly River port  Kiunga  Western Province (Adrian Mathias)
Western District's upriver port on the Fly River at Kiunga - what happens when the copper, gold and silver run out?

CLEMENT KAUPA

PORT MORESBY – On the first Thursday in June, soon after Oil Search chief executive Peter Botten addressed the 244th Sydney Mining Club forum over luncheon in Australia, a mother and her two sons drowned in the remote South Fly District of Papua New Guinea’s Western Province.

The tragedy which took the lives of the mother and her child and an infant occurred after a boat they were travelling in with relatives capsized in rough waters at the mouth of the Karu River. They left behind the father, a Port Moresby-based police officer, and three older siblings.

The family travelling in the ill-fated boat was on its way to the village of Sepe on the West Kiwai coast, escorting for burial the body of a deceased police officer from Port Moresby.

Continue reading "Can two of PNG's most depressed regions converge & prosper?" »


Buin-born mining veteran David Osikore joins BCL board

David Osikore (second right) briefs colleagues about the Wafi gold deposit south of Lae (Mike Porter)
David Osikore (second right) briefs colleagues on the Wafi gold deposit near Lae (Mike Porter)

KEITH JACKSON

PORT MORESBY – Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL) has announced the appointment of David Osikore to the company’s board of directors.

Osikore, 57, was born in Buin and has spent 30 years in the exploration and mining industries in Papua New Guinea and Australia.

His career began with the PNG Department of Mines and has since traversed roles ranging from exploration geologist to managing director. He is currently also on the board of Pacific Niugini Minerals PNG.

Osikore nominates his involvement with the prefeasibility study associated with PNG’s Hidden Valley and Hamata gold projects among his career highlights.

BCL chairman Sir Mel Togolo said Osikore was well-respected and brought invaluable industry experience and a keen local perspective to the board.

“We are delighted that David has agreed to join given his breadth of experience, technical expertise and the industry knowledge he has garnered having worked for three decades in PNG, Bougainville and abroad on various gold, silver and copper mining projects,” Togolo said.


Without major reform, foreign loans won’t rescue PNG economy

Stephen Howes
Stephen Howes - Will yesterday's joint ministerial forum reveal detail of required economic reform in PNG?

STEPHEN HOWES | DevPolicy Blog

CANBERRA - Media reporting of Papua New Guinea’s efforts to access foreign loans to finance the government’s budget has been far from accurate or complete.

But the efforts themselves are real. And they pose significant challenges for both the country’s suitors, China and Australia, and most importantly for PNG itself.

As reported in official PNG documents, PNG has been trying to obtain a loan from China since last year. The government is seeking K1 billion from China’s National Development Bank.

In principle agreement was reached at APEC last year, but the deal is still not yet done. The sticking points are the interest rate, and that China normally lends for projects, whereas PNG wants the money not be earmarked.

It needs the loan to pay salary bills and interest. Given the length of time the negotiations have taken, it is not clear when or indeed if China will come to PNG’s aid.

It’s not that China never provides non-earmarked budget support, but it is certainly the exception rather than the rule. Given the difficulties PNG is experiencing in obtaining K1 billion from China, talk of China refinancing PNG’s K27 billion of government debt is fanciful.

Continue reading "Without major reform, foreign loans won’t rescue PNG economy" »


Finschhafen mission prepares for modern communications

Logaweng telecoms tower
Logaweng telecommunications tower

ISO YAWI

LAE - It all started with a phone call from my superior the Thursday before last during a critical peak in my work at Nadzab airport.

“You’re assigned on a technical mission to do a site survey at Finschhafen tomorrow,” my superior said.

“You and Robert Waninara will be representing Bmobile and other state-owned ICT entities will be sending their reps with the media team.”

The mission was assigned by Papua New Guinea’s communications minister and MP for Finschaffen, Rainbo Paita.

I felt excited and a bit nervous as it would be my first experience of this kind. So I completed my work at Nadzab and got myself ready for Finschaffen.

I had only heard stories of this historic town. When Johann Flierl came to PNG in 1886 as the first Lutheran missionary, he set foot at Simbai at the mouth of Mape River (Bubui) in the Finschhaffen area.

Our telecommunications tower is located on Logaweng hill looking down on Gagidu station near where the Logaweng Lutheran Seminary was established in 1907.

Continue reading "Finschhafen mission prepares for modern communications" »


Joint Venture pressures PNG by setting deadline for LNG project

Marape
James Marape - unsure about the benefits locals will see from a multi-billion-dollar LNG project

NEWS DESK | AFP

SYDNEY - Oil Search has accused Papua New Guinea of backtracking on a deal to build a new liquefied natural gas project and set a 31 August deadline to resolve the dispute.

Oil Search is working in partnership with France's Total and US-based ExxonMobil on the US$13 billion site that would roughly double Papua New Guinea's exports of LNG.

The deal was signed in April, but since coming to office in May PNG's prime minister James Marape has raised concerns that locals will not receive enough benefit from the project.

"While initially indicating that the government had decided, in principle, to stand behind the agreement, more recently it has signalled its desire to renegotiate some of the agreed terms," Oil Search said.

Continue reading "Joint Venture pressures PNG by setting deadline for LNG project" »


Chinese counterfeits are killing PNG’s embryonic fashion industry

James Marape and Annette Sete
James Marape and Annette Sete

ANNETTE SETE | My Land, My Country

LAE - Papua New Guineans in the creative industries will never win against cheap Chinese copies unless and until the Papua New Guinea government tightens up on some of the laws safeguarding our businesses.

Chinese imitations of local designs and fake or counterfeit products will continue to flood our markets.

This past week my total of Chinese copies reached eight. Six of those we attempted to fight against, but high legal costs meant we can’t afford to do it all.

I read with interest and frustration as Papua New Guineans call for protection of our rights.

Continue reading "Chinese counterfeits are killing PNG’s embryonic fashion industry" »


Was UBS loan corrupt? Many questions to be answered: Marape

LISA MURRAY, ANGUS GRIGG & JONATHAN SHAPIRO | Australian Financial Review | Extracts

SYDNEY - Papua New Guinea's new government has appointed a former chief justice and an anti-corruption crusader to lead a three-month inquiry into the UBS loan affair, which is expected to renew focus on the investment bank's role in the controversial deal.

Prime Minister James Marape announced on Friday the inquiry would investigate whether any laws were broken when the Sydney office of UBS lent $1.2 billion to the PNG government in 2014 to buy a 10% stake in ASX-listed Oil Search.

The commission of inquiry will also look into whether there was any corruption or impropriety.

PNG PM James Marape says there are many questions that need to be answered.

Former chief justice Sir Salamo Injia has been appointed commissioner and Sam Koim, who headed the disbanded Taskforce Sweep that looked into allegations of corruption involving former prime minister Peter O'Neill, was announced as counsel assisting.

Continue reading "Was UBS loan corrupt? Many questions to be answered: Marape" »


PNG turns to China for help with tuna processing investment

MARK GODFREY | Seafood Source

SAN DIEGO - USA - A Chinese fishing firm is edging towards a deal to allow it access to the waters off Papua New Guinea with six large fishing vessels.

The fleet is set to sail after a team of eight officials from PNG visited the company at its home port in Zhejiang Province.

The officials inspected safety and tracking devices aboard six vessels of the Wenzhou Da Zhou Distant Water Fishing Co.

They were accompanied by company executives and officials from local government in Dontou County, near the city of Wenzhou, a major export-focused manufacturing hub.

Entering PNG would represent the “most cherished wish” of his company, Wenzhou Da Zhou general manager Yang Jin Ying told the press after the inspections.

Continue reading "PNG turns to China for help with tuna processing investment" »


Mobile phones have seen rapid rise in off-grid solar in PNG

LISA CORNISH | Devex | Extract

CANBERRA — The use of off-grid solar products has skyrocketed over the past five years in Papua New Guinea, with 60% of households now using solar lighting — up sharply from just 2% in 2012, according to a new report by the International Finance Corporation.

As a result, PNG now has one of the highest rates of use of off-grid solar lighting in the developing world, according to the report ‘Going the Distance: Off-Grid Lighting Market Dynamics in PNG’.

Part of this is due to the fact that 87% of the population — or 7.2 million people — are not connected to the electricity grid.

But the increased use of mobile technology has also played a major role. The report showed the transition happened at a time when mobile phone penetration was growing rapidly, but the means to charge phones was lagging.

Continue reading "Mobile phones have seen rapid rise in off-grid solar in PNG" »


Papua New Guinea backtracks on China debt refinancing

CONTRIBUTOR | Asia Times / AFP

SYDNEY - Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape has backtracked on an announcement saying he had asked China to refinance the country’s $8 billion debt, insisting the statement was released without his knowledge.

A statement from his office on Tuesday said Marape had asked China’s ambassador for help in refinancing the country’s K27 billion public debt during a meeting in Port Moresby.

But on Wednesday afternoon, Marape’s office released a new statement saying it was “false” that he was “going one way to China” to tackle the country’s debt.

He said PNG was primarily discussing trade with China while examining debt options with undisclosed “non-traditional partners.”

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Multibillion debt request to China “took Australia by surprise”

KATE LYONS | The Guardian | Extracts

SYDNEY - Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape has dealt a blow to Australian diplomacy by asking China to refinance his country’s debt.

The request marks a “significant shift” in regional politics and PNG’s allegiances, according to Pacific experts.

Australia has traditionally been the largest aid donor and most important ally of PNG, but in recent years ties between China and PNG have strengthened.

PNG’s prime minister, James Marape, visited Australia two weeks ago at the invitation of his counterpart, Scott Morrison, in his first international visit since becoming the Pacific nation’s leader at the end of May.

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PNG request to China to refinance K27bn debt will rile Oz

CONTRIBUTOR | Asia Times

PORT MORESBY- Papua New Guinea has asked Beijing to refinance its K27 billion debt, in a request likely to rile Australia and the United States as they try to maintain their influence in the Pacific in the face of a rising China.

Beijing has been strengthening ties with PNG and other Pacific nations by increasing engagement and offering loans for infrastructure, prompting both the US and Australia to launch their own charm offensives in the region to keep traditional allies on side.

Less than two weeks after traveling to Australia on his first trip abroad as leader, PNG prime minister James Marape announced on Tuesday that he had asked China’s ambassador for help in refinancing the country’s K27billion public debt during a meeting in Port Moresby.

“He stated that a formal letter would be forwarded to the ambassador to convey to Beijing on this request,” Marape’s office said in a statement.

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