In brief: Papua New Guinea wants to advance key resources projects before Q3 and other business stories


Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister travels to Lae for Wafi-Golpu project, the Minister says PNG is open to welcoming new ICT operators, and confirmed COVID-19 cases increase as PNG adapts to the Niupela Pasin or ‘new normal’. The business news you need to kick start your week.

Prime Minister Marape

PNG’s James Marape. Credit: PNG Office of the Prime Ministert/Facebook


Prime Minister James Marape and Mining Minister Johnson Tuke travelled to Lae for a preliminary meeting with the Morobe Provincial Government and the landowners of the Wafi-Golpu mining areas. He confirmed ‘the present Mining Act will govern the framework of the Wafi-Golpu Mining contract that should be secured after negotiations.’ It also said that the Prime Minister wants to advance Porgera, P’nyang and the Pasca A project before the third quarter of 2020. (PNG Office of the Prime Minister)


Last week, the 14 members of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) held the 114th Forum Fisheries Committee online. During the five-day meeting, the members agreed to study ‘how observer safety can be improved in the wake of COVID-19, and how the role can be made more viable into the future.’ They also discussed the pressures that the pandemic has put on the Pacific tuna fisheries as well as the opportunities that it has opened. (FFA)


The Gazelle Hotel. Credit: Air Niugini

The Yasina Nature Conservation Park in the Upper Bena LLG of Eastern Highlands Province is a community-led tourism project that is set to benefit from the local government’s commitment to establishing a three-kilometre bush trek from Megabo to Yasina. The park has almost completed a guest house for 20 people and the official opening is scheduled for September. (Post-Courier)

Public enterprises

Water PNG has been running without a board and last week its staff in Lae called on Kumul Consolidated Holdings Limited (KCHL) and the Minister for State Enterprises, Sasindran Muthuvel, to appoint a Board of Directors and a Managing Director. The Post-Courier reported that Muthuvel said the board appointment is being processed and will be conducted through an independent interview process.


Competition may be arriving in PNG’s telecommunications industry. The Minister Communications & Information Technology, Timothy Masiu, said that he is open to welcoming new operators in the country. He said that PNG is waiting for a third mobile network by Digitec Communications Ltd to be rolled out and that the Dubai-based telecommunications Awal Impex had shown interest in PNG. There is no time frame for Digitec to start operation because of the COVID-19 restrictions; Masiu said: ‘If it was normal and there was no COVID-19, they could have been here and launched their mobile services. We don’t want to give them a time frame and push them.’ (The National)

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The deadline for the deactivation of unregistered mobile phones hasn’t been moved again and is 31 July, Information Communications Minister Timothy Masiu reportedly told The National. ‘We have not moved the timings, it’s still 31 July because we have already extended [the deadline] from 31 March [to 31 July] due to COVID-19,’ he said. ‘But when 31 July comes, that’s the time when we will make a decision whether we will continue to give some time or stop there and start to deregister all the unregistered SIM cards.’


Last week, Nambawan Super announced that ‘130 members’ super savings would receive a boost above the mandatory contribution level [8.4 per cent] from their employers.’ This was made possible when the employers signed up for an ‘Employer Boost’, topping the compulsory contribution with additional contributions of up to 15 per cent for each staff member.

‘Nambawan Super is encouraging employers to consider an “Employer Boost”, not only for business continuity during the pandemic, but as part of a recovery package that would contribute to boosting staff morale, as staff adjust to life and work in the “new normal”,’ Paul Sayer, CEO of Nambawan Super, said in a release.


Police Commissioner and Controller David Manning confirmed on Tuesday last week PNG’S 10th COVID-19 case in a young Papua New Guinean soldier in Port Moresby. Manning said: ‘The country needs to work together to apply the Niupela Pasin. This will involve changing our old ways of doing things and replacing them with behaviours and actions to reduce risk of getting infection.’ At the time of writing, one more case of coronavirus has been confirmed in PNG, bringing the total to 11. (LOOP PNG)


Credit Corporation PNG reported a Group Net Profit After Tax of K132 million, which represents a 34.8 increase compared to 2018, and a Core Operation Profit of K105 million. Peter Aitsi, Credit Corporation’s CEO, said that although the COVID-19 pandemic is having ‘an impact on our business – as it is for every financial institution around the world – ‘the company’s 2019 performance is providing strength and resilience’. (PNGX)


Innovative Agro Industry (IA), the operator of the Sirunki Farm in Enga Province, has said that it will export strawberries to Singapore again when the COVID-19 restrictions are removed. Ilan Weiss, Chairman of IAI, told The National that the company started exporting strawberries to the Asian country last year but stopped to meet the local demand.


The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) approved US$243 million (K841 million) in funding to support developing nations. Papua New Guinea will receive US$50 million (K173 million) to help the Sustainable Highlands Highway Investment Program (Tranche 2). (OPEC)

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