In brief: Cost of running APEC close to K1 billion, and other business stories

Treasurer Charles Abel puts APEC cost between K900-K1 billion, feasibility plans for four ports, export licences for bech-de-mer likely to be slashed. Your weekly digest of the latest business news.

Treasurer Charles Abel has told the National Press Club the total cost of running APEC will be between K900 million to K1 billion, since 2016. He said that includes the cost of APEC Haus, which was built under the Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme.

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Meanwhile, Taiwan News is reporting US Vice-President, Mike Pence, is expected to announce up to US$60 billion in aid to counter growing Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific region during the APEC Summit.

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Infrastructure Minister, Westley Nukundj, says contracts have been allocated to three companies to draw up feasibility plans to redevelop the ports in Wewak, Vanimo, Manus and Kikori, at a cost of K40 million. He expects the studies to take five months.

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The NFA’s John Kasu

The National Fisheries Authority intends tightening rules in the beche-de-mer (sea cucumber) industry before the harvest season opens next year. Managing Director John Kasu has told The National there may be fewer exporters, benchmark prices for different species, and he is concerned that funds are not coming back to PNG.

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The Chairman of Nasfund Contributors Savings and Loans Society, Ian Tarutia, has told EMTV the society plans to be a commercial bank by 2020.

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Kumul Hotels has completed the sale of Crowne Plaza Hotel, Port Moresby, to a wholly-owned subsidiary of HTS Holdings Ltd for an undisclosed amount. The hotel had been on the market since 2016. Kumul Hotels Ltd, said it was a ‘strategic decision by shareholders to rationalise the company’s capital and consolidate its hotel investments in Port Moresby’.

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Health Minister Sir Puka Temu has told parliament an audit team has been sent to Daru Hospital after staff alleged allegations of misappropriation and misapplication of funds. The Post-Courier reports the Member for South Fly, Sekie Agisa, said in parliament that Pacific Medical and Health Care Ltd had received funding for drugs which had not been delivered.

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PNG Power’s Carolyn Blacklock with Bougainville’s John Momis. Credit: RNZ Pacific

The Bougainville government is making efforts to cut its diesel bill by investing in renewable energy. PNG Power is in the process of setting up a hydro power station at Ramazon in the Tinputz District. President John Momis says a New Zealand company is preparing a feasibility study on other hydro projects throughout Bougainville.

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The first Governor of the Bank of Papua New Guinea, Sir Henry ToRobert, has died. During his term as Governor of the Bank of PNG, the country’s currency (kina and toea) was introduced in 1975. In 1993, he left the Bank of PNG to take up partnership in government accounts and banking at the Port Moresby Office of Deloitte Touche Tohmastu.

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The former Registrar of Companies and Chairman of the PNG Securities Commission, Alex Tongayu, has been arrested on forgery and uttering charges. Loop PNG quotes anti-Corruption Directorate detectives alleging that in June, 2017, he had forged the signature of then Trade Minister, Richard Maru, and appointed himself as head of the positions. Maru denied he had made the appointment and referred the matter to police.

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SMEC has been appointed by PNG Forest Products to provide tender design and documentation for the next phase of the 12 MW Baime Hydropower project in Morobe Province. The project is expected to replace fossil fuel and diesel-generated power and increase power supply and reliability in the Morobe, Madang and Highlands provinces through the Ramu Network.

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 Photograph of the Week

In a world first, the Vanuatu Government has awarded contracts to an Australian and German company to trial the delivery of life-saving vaccines to vulnerable children in remote areas by drone. Chief of UNICEF’s Vanuatu field office, Andrew Parker, says vaccines need to stay in cold storage, and are likely to more effective in hotter weather if quickly delivered. Credit: ABC/UNICEF.

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