In brief: Papua New Guinea to explore free trade agreement with China and other business stories


Free trade agreement with China to be explored, Papua New Guinea’s Immigration and Citizenship Authority reactivates instant visas, and Port Moresby to get new tower development. The business news today.

Paga Hill Paradise Project

Prime Minister Marape [second from left] and NCD Governor Powes Parkop [third from right] during the ground breaking ceremony of the Paga Hill Paradise development. Credit: Office of the Prime Minister


A 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck Papua New Guinea on 11 September at 9.46 am, with a 5.0 magnitude replica at 10.42 am, both with epicenter in the Markham Valley. According to the National Command Centre, ‘significant damage’ has been reported in districts of Morobe, Eastern Highlands and Madang provinces. Landslides in Bulolo, Wau and Boana have been reported as well as damage to the Ramu hydropower station infrastructure, which has resulted in power outages in Madang, Morobe and the Highlands. According to a statement by the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, ‘no damage has been reported to aviation infrastructure.’ (Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary)


As well as the Independence Day public holiday this Friday, 16 September, there will be an additional public holiday on Monday 19 September: a National Day of Mourning for Queen Elizabeth II (National Gazette).


During the swearing in ceremony on the Morobe Government, Governor Luther Wenge reportedly said he would revoke the legal claims holding up the Wafi-Golpu project. His intention is to have the project start work early next year and also renegotiate the current deal with the operator of the Hidden Valley gold mine. (via Lae Chamber of Commerce)


Niuminco Group Limited has been granted a further 10-year mining lease of Edie Creek in the Morobe Goldfields, approximately five kilometres from Harmony Gold’s Hidden Valley Mine. Niuminco has spent over AU$10 million (more than K24 million) on exploration over the past 11 years. The Edie Creek Mine produced 8165.5 grams of gold and 7606.2 grams of silver in the financial year ending 30 June and reported sales of K1,643,278. (PNGX)

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The Immigration and Citizenship Authority (ICA) has made it easier for some visitors to PNG to get a visa by reactivating the visa auto-grant in its Border Management System. Only those who apply online and meet all the requirements are eligible to get a visa ‘almost instantaneously’.

The auto-grant visa only applies to tourist (own itinerary or tour package), visiting relatives, yacht person (crew and owner), easy visitor permit for 30 or 60 days and restricted employment visa. (Immigration Authority)


Air Niugini has announced that Australia has removed the requirements for crew and passengers to wear masks on all flights to Australia.  (Air Niugini)


Richard Maru, Minister for International Trade and Investment, met recently with Chen Jiliang, the Charge d’ Affaires of the People’s Republic of China Embassy, to talk about a proposed free-trade agreement with China. Both countries have agreed on the need for a reference study on the project, which it has been reported, will be conducted by an independent global expert. Maru said that he hopes by January or February 2023 both countries can discuss the study’s recommendations. China has provided K1 million for PNG to engage a consultant for the study. (The National)


No more logging permits will be issued until there is a ‘full stock-take’ of the 205 existing permits, according to Prime Minister James MarapeThe Prime Minister is looking for alternatives to ‘ramp up production in this sector without compromising sustainability and good environment practices.’ (The National)


The K130 million Paga Hill Paradise project in Port Moresby was officially launched last week. The 22-storey luxury apartment project is at the ‘heart of the Special Economic Zone’, overlooking the old Fairfax Harbour.

‘Special economic zones are meant to be places of investment, expansion, and I thank the investors for choosing to invest here,’ Marape said during the ground breaking ceremony. Construction company China State Engineering will build Paga Hill Paradise.  (PNG Office of the Prime Minister)


Minister Richard Maru has said he welcomes Indian investors to PNG to help the country in its vision to go into downstream processing.

‘We will be focusing on Indian investors to come in and help us to go into commercial rice farming, invest in factories for oil palm, coconut oil and cocoa, to process our coffee into premium coffee products, and the processing of all our coconut into final products rather than exporting raw materials from Papua New Guinea,’ said Maru. (LOOP PNG)


North Fly Rubber Limited (NFRL) has had a high production of rubber but is now facing logistic issues. The company’s Director, Pius Kuri, said that some farmers have been ‘missing out on selling their rubber’. He is calling on Ok Tedi Mining, Ok Tedi Development Foundation and the Fly River Provincial Government to see whether they can step in and assist with vehicles. (Post-Courier)

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