Boardroom Briefing: PNG-Chinese business stars, women starting more businesses in Australia and the new Asian business powerhouse


Media highlights PNG-Chinese businesses, the prominent role of women in Australian startups, and should Papua New Guinea making more of its connections with the Philippines? Readings from around the world on business, leadership and management.

PNG-Chinese community in the spotlight

The article in The Australian newspaper highlighted PNG-Chinese businesses.

In a feature titled ‘Trading Places in PNG’ in The Australian newspaper last week, Papua New Guinea’s Chinese business community received some overdue recognition.

‘Although small, numbering about 20,000, the Chinese population in PNG makes up a significant part of the domestic economy, particularly in retail,’ it reports.

The story focused on long-standing PNG-Chinese entrepreneurs like Duffy coffee shop owner Travers Chue, John and Sandra Lau, former Air Niugini CEO Simon Foo, and the Seeto brothers, Ken and Danie.

It looked at the importance of the ties the community has with Papua New Guinea, Australia and China and how this cross-cultural mix can be a boon for their respective businesses.

More women, more success

At a business breakfast last week, Minister for State Enterprises Sasindran Muthuvel said he was not against appointing more women to the boards of PNG’s state-owned enterprises if that was a requirement to attract international investors and concessionary loans.

He might be onto something. Hot on the heels of the news that Goldman Sachs will no longer support all-male IPOs, research has shown that two-thirds of new Australian businesses are been headed by women.

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The report, from accounting software company Xero, shows that women are leading the way in areas like healthcare, education and training and that, while men might still run more companies over all, two-thirds of new businesses this decade are female-led.

The data also shows that the peak age to own a business in Australia is 45 years old, with almost 46,000 Aussies in their mid-40s working as their own boss.

Should PNG look to the Philippines?

Lae port. Credit: ICTSI

Philippines-owned companies like RD Tuna Canners and port managers ICTSI are already making a strong contribution to PNG’s economy.

With economic growth at around six per cent and nearly half of the country’s CEOs saying they are looking to invest abroad, the Philippines is being tipped as the next regional powerhouse, according to a story in Entrepreneur Asia.

The article says that many Filipino companies expand first to their near neighbours before taking the step to try to compete in the US and Europe. It also points to the rise in direct foreign investment in other nations by the Philippines in recent years.

Certainly, business travellers and workers from the Philippines are coming to PNG in increasing numbers. Is it time for PNG to have more of a focus on our near-neighbour?


  1. Steve Kwagiok says

    Quality Education is the basis for a vibrant economy in any country and PNG is no exception
    During the 2018 APEC Meeting much was said about quality Education as the basis for their economic success by leaders of Chile, Singapore, Malaysia etc..
    PNG should fix it’s education system by investing more into improving the quality. Free education is not quality Education.
    We should have degree holders teaching from primary level up. STEM should be taught at primary. Precalculus should be introduced at year 6 and advanced into year 12.

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