In brief: China offers to host Pacific leaders meeting, and other business stories

China offers to host Pacific leaders meeting, NCS awarded gender equality certification, and Samaritan Aviation to bring a second plane into service. Your weekly digest of the latest business news.

The Chinese President Xi Jinping is reportedly offering to host a meeting with Pacific leaders in Port Moresby ahead of the APEC leaders summit in November. The invitation was conveyed by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill when he addressed Fiji’s Parliament in Suva on Monday. The Pacnews Agency reported O’Neill said only Pacific nations with diplomatic relations with China have been invited.

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The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has helped Papua New Guinea’s largest catering and camp management company, NCS, become the first company in the Pacific to be awarded the leading global assessment and business certification for gender equality: EDGE, the Economic Dividends for Gender Equality. The certification evaluates companies’ workplace gender equality performance against global and industry benchmarks.

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The float plane on the way to the Sepik River. Source: Samaritan Aviation

The Wewak-based Samaritan Aviation will be able to launch its second aircraft this year – thanks to K2 million in funding by the Government to acknowledge the work it is doing. Samaritan Aviation President Mark Palm was in Port Moresby on Friday to receive the K2 million cheque from National Planning and Monitoring Minister Richard Maru.

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Papua New Guinea’s largest privately owned maritime college is now connected with China’s fourth largest maritime institution aimed at improving the capacity of seafarers in PNG and the Pacific Islands to international levels. Pacific Maritime Training College launched a joint training co-operation between the Zhejiang International Maritime College of China.

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Illimo’s dairy herd. Credit: IAI

Minister for Agriculture Benny Allan has said the government’s agenda to push agricultural growth and increase affordability of foodstuffs has shown through in the retail price of milk in the country. He said following the production and sale of locally produced fresh milk hitting the shelves in Port Moresby, the price of milk has come down significantly.

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Genuine bilums for sale in Papua New Guinea. Source: RNZ

Independent Competition and Consumer Commission (ICCC) CEO Paulus Aim has confirmed that an inter-agency taskforce spearheaded by PNG Customs is looking into the importation of pirated bilum products into the country.

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Air Niugini will save up to K2.5 million by doing its own checks and heavy maintenance, acting CEO Tahawar Durrani said this week. Previously, aircraft were sent overseas for heavy maintenance, which is expensive for the airline and the country.

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Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has reportedly proposed that PNG and Fiji explore options for a free trade agreement between the two countries. This week, O’Neill became the first PNG Prime Minister to address Fiji’s Parliament.

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The PNG Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative’s multi-stakeholder group is hosting workshops on how to record beneficial owners in the extractive industry. The head of the national secretariat, Lukas Alkan, said the workshop was part of a roadshow to collect views from stakeholders in the industry.

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Philippine rice producers have reportedly extended their assurance that they have the production capacity to supply domestic PNG’s rice import quota. This follows the signing of an agricultural cooperation agreement between Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte in May this year in Manila.

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The Bank of PNG is reportedly warning the public that cryptocurrencies, or digital money, are not currencies issued or regulated by the Central Bank. It says these cryptocurrencies do not have the status of legal tender.

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Photograph of the week

A team of highly experienced legal professionals from the Victorian Bar in Australia are in PNG to conduct a week-long civil and criminal advocacy workshop at the PNG Legal Training Institute in Port Moresby this week. Source: The National

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