In brief: Five countries abandon the Pacific Island Forum and other business stories


Micronesian nations leave the Pacific Island Forum, Kumul Submarine Cable yet to be completed and Daru Island becomes centre of political tension. The latest business news in a nutshell.

Daru Island. Credit: RNZ


‘The country needs another local bank and Tisa (Teachers Savings and Loans Society) is prepared to step up to meet that need,’ said CEO Michael Koisen after announcing that Tisa has applied for a banking licence to the Bank of PNG. He said the company is collaborating with the Central Bank in facilitating the assessment process. Koisen added that Tisa is working toward becoming a ‘stronger and more relevant financial institution’. (The National)

State-owned enterprises

The merger of Water PNG and Eda Ranu is underway and ought to be completed by the end of the first quarter, said Water PNG’s Chairman Hubert Namani. He added that although the merger means fitting together ‘close to 700 staff’, ‘there is a policy behind the merger that no one loses their jobs.’ (The National)

Technology & telecommunications

Ransomware (a malicious software that attacks computers and displays messages asking for a fee to access to your information again) and targeted attacks are the two most common cyber-security threats affecting PNG companies, according to Alberto Cimas, Deloitte PNG’s Information Technology and Cyber-Security Specialist. ‘Things can get worse when you fall victim to these attacks using your company computer because the ransomware will infect other computers and devices in your company’s network, creating ultimately a huge disaster,’ he said. (The National)


The Kumul Submarine Cable lands in Arawa in 2020. Credit: PNGDataCo/Linkedin

Given the increase in internet data transmission use, PNG Data Co has announced its plans to upgrade Kumul Submarine Cable’s bandwidth. The company’s General Manager, Engineering, Tony Morisause said: ‘We are working on upgrading particularly on the data centre, because the carriage capacity of what we designed earlier cannot cater for the demand we are getting, which is excessively high.’ (Post-Courier)


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Talking about the Kumul Submarine Cable, Paul Komboi, DataCo PNG’s Managing Director, also told the newspaper that cable is expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year.

‘The only outstanding work we have with KSCN is the Jayapura leg, which was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic; but we expect to complete work by the third quarter of this year,’ he added.


Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Kiribati and the Republic of the Marshall Islands have agreed to abandon the Pacific Islands Forum. The decision comes after the appointment of Polynesia’s candidate Henry Puna, former Cook Island’s Prime Minister, as Secretary General.

In October 2020, the Micronesian leaders signed the Mekreos Communique during a special meeting of the Micronesia Presidents in Palau and committed to withdraw for the Forum if Micronesia was denied its turn to nominate a Secretary General.  (LOOP)


A proposed Chinese-built multibillion project for Daru Island, Western Province, has grabbed the attention of the international media. Why? The US$39 billion project proposed the construction of a business, commercial and industrial zone as well as a residential area only 50km from Australian territory, which, according to The Guardian, ‘has raised significant security concerns in Australia.’ PNG’s National Planning Minister, Rainbo Paita, said in an interview that he had not seen the proposal from Hong Kong-based WYW Holding Company. (The Guardian)


Hamamas Rice, PNG’s first commercially produced rice, is now being sold around the country but still needs to be embraced ‘universally’, said Alan Preston, Trukai’s Chief Executive Officer.

‘We are obviously keen to see PNG consumer embrace our locally grown product with enthusiasm,’ Preston told the Post-Courier but, as he added, the demand for rice continues to be greatest for Trukai’s imported rice.

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