In brief: PNGEITI head says Porgera needs to reopen soon and other business stories


Calls for the reopening of Porgera gold mine and compensation, BSP Financial Group Ltd files a Supreme Court reference on new income tax, and Lae City to get a new market. The business news you need.


Santos’ Leon Buskens with the 25 new apprentices in Port Moresby.


PNG’s second largest city, Lae, will have a double-storey market by 2023. Australia, New Zealand and Lae City Authority are funding the K42 million project. According to Lae MP and Deputy Prime Minister John Rosso, the ‘project design and management are currently under way and construction is expected to start next year.’ (Post-Courier)


In its 2021 annual report City Pharmacy Limited (CPL) Group reported K578.6 million total sales, roughly on a par with revenue the previous year. Profits were down by 13 per cent, to K13.7 million.

However, the group delivered a 33.3 per cent increase in dividends per share, and highlighted the launch of its ecommerce ecosystem and ISO accreditation as some of the key developments for 2021. (CPL Group)


During the 4th Annual SME Breakfast with the Prime Minister, PM Marape thanked the over 55,000 SMEs in the country for their hard work and contribution to the economy. The event also marked the launch of the 2022 SME Awards. (Post-Courier)

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The final budget outcome for 2021, recently released by the Department of Treasury, shows government finances were slightly better than predicted in last year’s supplementary budget.

Total revenue receipts in 2021 amounted to K13,860.4 million, higher by 1.4 per cent compared to 2021 Supplementary Budget’s estimate of K13,674.5 million. Meanwhile, total expenditure and net lending in 2021 amounted to K20,130.7 million, lower by 0.8 per cent.

The result is a slightly lower budget deficit of K6,270.3 million or 6.7 per cent of GDP, compared to the 2021 Supplementary Budget estimate of K6,612.8 million or 7.1 per cent of GDP. (Dept of Treasury)


Mining company Santos has announced the names of 25 novices who will participate in its four-year apprenticeship program. Ten women and fifteen men will train in Malaysia’s Institut Teknologi Petroleum Petronas (INSTEP) and then will complete on-the-job training. (See pic above.) (Post-Courier)


It’s estimated that local contractors of the Porgera Joint Venture have lost around K110 million since the mine shut operation two years ago. About 700 SMEs and 176 contractors have been affected, reportedly said Nickson Pakea, President of the Porgera Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He’s urging the government to provide ‘relief funding to rescue business losses’. (The National)


The head of the PNG Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PNGEITI) Secretariat , economist Lucas Alkan, says  PNG’s economy is in a ‘fragile state’ but that it can rebound if the government acts fast. He said that the Porgera mine needs to reopen soon to contribute to the economy and help PNG reach the four per cent projected growth the World Bank estimated in its March economic report.

‘The prolonged delay in re-opening [the Porgera mine] has resulted in significant revenue loss to the State and loss of employment and benefits to local communities,’ he is reported as saying. (The National)


To declare the new income tax unconstitutional and invalid, BSP Financial Group Limited has filed a special Supreme Court reference. The tax, part of the Income Tax (2022 Budget) (Amendment) Act 2021 gazetted in March this year, provides for BSP to pay K190 million as additional company tax each year. The bank says that the tax, which only applies to BSP, ‘directly and adversely’ affects its operations. (Post-Courier)


Thank you, Sir Peter

PNG’s tourism advocate and former politician, Sir Peter Barter, owner of Melanesian Tourist Services, passed away last week. The PNG Tourism Promotion Authority said about his contributions to PNG’s tourism industry:

‘His services extended to contribute to social and community initiatives throughout Madang and PNG with the Melanesian Foundation. His tourism and hospitality businesses were world-class and positioned PNG well over the decades by receiving international tourists and VIPs.’ (LOOP PNG)


Solomon Islands is reopening its international borders on July 1. From that date, all international arrivals will no longer undergo institutional quarantine. Travellers can proceed directly from the airport after clearing normal arrival formalities to their booked accommodations in hotels or to their homes. (Solomon Islands Government)

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