Invest in PNG, PM Marape tells Business Forum

 PAPUA New Guinea is a place to invest in, Prime Minister James Marape says.

The Prime Minister was speaking at the 37th Australia-PNG Business Forum and Trade Expo in Brisbane yesterday.

“To attract and lock in investments, we are opening up special economic zones that offer incentives like free trade, tax holidays and other concessional investments,” he said.

“My generation of leaders are aware of opportunities in trade for the benefit of our 10 million people in our Apec, Asean and Pacific neighbourhood.

“The world close to PNG in the Asia-Pacific needs food, energy and other finished products from our forests, land and seas.

“We want to value-add to our resources so we are looking for partners in agriculture, fisheries, forestry, oil, gas and mining.

“Downstream processing is the way to go.

“I call on this august business forum to keep on investing in PNG or come and pick up a business address in PNG.

“As a vote of confidence in PNG’s economy, we saw recently Australian companies invest big in PNG, like Telstra which acquired Digicel and Fortescue Future Industries.”

Marape said the merger of Santos and Oil Search was a pivotal moment in potentially forging closer ties between Australia and PNG.

“Although it was sad to see a PNG company such as Oil Search go, we have our very own Kumul Petroleum in the oil and gas industry in PNG and my hope is that Santos follows through on the ‘national interest expectations’,” he said.

“We look forward to Santos and Kumul Petroleum doing an equity sell down transaction and this will create a strong relationship between the two companies.

“Those of you who have been in PNG know that while we have issues of law and order, and systematic impediments such as infrastructure deficiencies, those who remain as businesses in PNG continue to make profits.”

Marape gave the Government’s commitment to strive to eliminate impediments to business and make it easier to operate in PNG.

He said the Government’s commitment to business environment included:

  • EXPEDITING ease of business registration;
  • MODERNISING tax regimes, including incentives for priority businesses in special economic zones, with a focus on downstream processing;
  • MODERNISING infrastructure through the ‘Connect PNG’ Policy, linking roads to seaports and airports;
  • PROVISION of power and telecommunications; and,
  • A FUNCTIONAL and effective judiciary.
The National / Pacific Business News

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