In brief: Fiji codeshare takes off, and other business stories

Fiji codeshare gets off the ground, trade talks with Australia, and Goroka Airport now welcoming jets. Your weekly digest of the latest business news.

in brief

The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) has reportedly authorised Air Niugini to enter into a codeshare agreement with Fiji Airways on the Port Moresby to Nadi, Fiji, route via Honiara. ICCC Commissioner and CEO, Paulus Ain, said the codeshare agreement with Fiji Airways is for a period of three years and is the first between the airlines.

Meanwhile, this week also saw the opening of Nadi’s new international terminal.

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CPL Group has reportedly announced that it intends to open 10 new pharmacies around the country.  CPL Managing Director Mahesh Patel said that CPL currently caters for a small percentage of the population and wants to increase that level, especially with its pharmacies business.

The company has also announced the immediate sale to Vision City of its Paradise Cinemas business in Port Moresby. The business, which commenced in 2012, was previously a joint venture between CPL, PNG FM and Fiji’s Damodar Group. The Paradise Cinema in Waigani Central has closed as a result of the sale, while Vision City has taken over the Paradise cinema in Vision City.

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As arguments continue on how much of the K14 billion (A$6 billion) annual two-way trade with Australia really benefits local exporters, proposed ‘improvements’ to biosecurity could provide opportunities for local exporters. Australia Assistant Minister for Trade, Investment and Tourism Mark Coulton reportedly confirmed close discussions are taking place with Commerce and Industry Minister Wera Mori on the issue that has hindered exports of agricultural produce from PNG to its nearest neighbour down south.

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People inspect the reinvigorated Goroka Airport. Credit: Nationalpic

There was excitement in Goroka on Monday when an Air Niugini jet aircraft landed at the airport in Goroka—the first since 2005. Jet aircraft flights stopped because the runway was in a poor condition and considered too dangerous for bigger planes. Since then, Air Niugini and PNG Air have been using smaller planes, especially the Dash-8.

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Thailand’s Department of Fisheries has reportedly signed a cooperative agreement with Papua New Guinea on fisheries development, with workshops and research projects to be undertaken jointly. Director-General of the Fisheries Department Adisorn Promthep was joined by National Fisheries Authority managing director John Kasu during a ceremony to sign a memorandum of understanding on fisheries co-operation between the two agencies.

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A significant upgrade job done to the Port Moresby sewerage plant at Joyce Bay is nearly complete and the plant will take its first load this month. The K400 million state-of-the-art treatment facility is jointly funded by the Japanese Government through JICA and the National Government.

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Cocoa tree in Papua New Guinea.Credit: RNZI

Tonnes of cash crops including cocoa and copra are reportedly rotting in remote Kandrian-Gloucester, in West New Britain, because of poor shipping services. Joe Mageto, a farmer from Ward 6 in Kandrian-Gloucester, said the produce was not getting to Kimbe in time. He said cocoa and copra can be on the ground for at least four weeks waiting for shipment.

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Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has reportedly hit back at ‘naysayers,’ stating that the domestic economy is growing and could hit close to K100 billion gross domestic product size by the end of 2018. The PM said last Thursday, during the launch of the PNG strategy for the development of statistics, that since 2010 the country has seen growth that could double its economy by the end of this decade.

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Photograph of the week

Trekkers and their support crew on the Kokoda Track. Credit: Dale Goldsworthy, via TripAdvisor

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