In brief: Ihu Special Economic Zone gets K80 million boost from China and other business stories


The Ihu Special Economic Zone project gets funding from China, Prime Minister Marape visits ExxonMobil headquarters and Kina’s acquisition of Westpac Pacific is officially over. The business news you need today.

The Chinese Ambassador Zeng Fanhua and Kikori MP Soroi Eoe after signing the ISEZ project deal.


The Ihu Special Economic Zone (ISEZ) project in Kikori, Gulf Province, has received over K80 million (150,000 million renminbi) from China. The deal was signed last Friday between Acting Prime Minister and Kikori MP, Soroi Eoe, and the Chinese Ambassador Zeng Fanhua. The Ambassador reportedly said: ‘The agreement signed today is the latest fruits of our bilateral relations and reaffirm China’s commitment to developing a comprehensive strategic partnership with PNG and supporting Papua New Guinea’s economic and social development in a challenging time.’ (EMTV News)


Mining Minister Johnson Tuke said in a mining conference at the University of Technology Lae that alluvial mining ‘will be reserved for Papua New Guineans through policy interventions.’ He explained that the mining legislation expected to be tabled in Parliament in November could give this alluvial mining sector the support needed for its development.

‘I’m trying to make alluvial mining a reserved business for Papua New Guineans,’ he’s quoted as saying. ‘We also want international partnership in the business but all we want is fair equity for locals.’ (The National)


Prime Minister James Marape. Credit: Office of the Prime Minister and NEC

Prime Minister James Marape, during his visit to ExxonMobil headquarters, signed two Heads of Agreement (HoA) for the P’nyang project in Western Province. It’s been reported that the first HoA secures an additional 10 per cent equity on top of the existing option to hold 22.5 per cent, and the second is an understanding to sign a Gas Agreement. Both documents are non-binding, but they help to restart negotiations and provide a framework for PNG and ExxonMobil to eventually sign a Gas Agreement.


The Bank of Papua New Guinea has won the International SOS Foundation’s 2021 Duty of Care Awards in the Innovation Category. The Central Bank was recognised for developing a digital identity designed to increase social and financial inclusion in PNG. The Bank was also shortlisted for the Duty of Care Awards. Governor Loi Bakani said: ‘BPNG’s win in the innovation category and our honourable mention in the inclusion and diversity category send a strong message, that even relatively small nations can make a positive difference to the wellbeing of their citizens.’ (The National)


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The agreement for Kina Bank to buy Westpac’s Pacific business, which include operations in PNG and Fiji, has been officially terminated after the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) rejected the proposal. Kina’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Greg Pawson, said that, although the outcome was disappointing, ‘this in no way changes the company’s strategy of seeking both organic and inorganic growth in PNG and the Pacific region.’ He added that the outlook for the company ‘remains positive.’ (Kina Bank)


BSP Financial Group Limited has funded 548 SME loans with a total value of K69 million under the credit enhancement scheme facility from the government. BSP Financial Group’s CEO, Robin Fleming, recently said that the bank will continue to source and fund SME loans under the agreement. The bank received last year K100 million for the scheme.

‘At this stage there has not been discussion with the government regarding the next tranche of funding, but as stated, BSP will continue to progress and fund loans under the agreement with government,’ he said. ‘We see no reason why the government will not continue with funding support.’ (Post-Courier)


The agribusiness company NGIP Agmark Ltd (Agmark) has announced an audited operating profit after tax of K3.65 million for the first half of the year. This is represents a 541 per cent increase on the operating loss of at 30 June 2020.

Total group revenue increased from K58.4 million last year to K85.9 million. The company said in a release that the increase in revenue reflects the ‘cocoa flush’ that started this year. (PNGX)

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