In brief: Prime Minister Marape invites US and China to invest in Papua New Guinea and other stories


Prime Minister James Marape on a free trade agreement with China, invitation to the United States to invest in Papua New Guinea extended, and renewed interest in the Solwara One project.

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Prime Minister Marape and Xi Jinping during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summir. Credit: PNG Office of the Prime Minister

Trade & investment

Last week, during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Bangkok, Thailand, Prime Minister Marape invited the United States to invest in PNG’s downstream sector.

‘We didn’t ask them to give us more grants and aid. All we asked for was for them [the US] to bring in more US businesses into PNG, particularly in the downstream sector.

‘We pointed them to fisheries, saying that’s the best they can do for us, to economically empower us not just today, but more importantly into the future.’ (PNG Office of the Prime Minister)


During that same summit, Marape also met with China’s President Xi Jinping, with whom he talk about a potential free trade agreement and the idea of direct flights between Shanghai and Port Moresby.

‘We agreed that a free trade agreement must be concluded at the very earliest that would secure both nation’s interest so that trade and commerce happened within this realm.

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‘Xi invited me for a state visit to China next year during which time we hope to sign the free trade agreement.’ (PNG Office of the Prime Minister)


Meanwhile, at the same event, Singapore expressed its interest in hosting the Papua New Guinea Trade and Investment Roadshow in 2023, so that PNG can showcase business opportunities to Asia.

International Trade and Investment Minister, Richard Maru, said that ‘now with our plan to establish a trade mission [in Singapore] next year, it is important for us to deepen this relationship.’ Maru also suggested plans to ‘stage the next PNG Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference in Singapore’. (The National)


The Investment Promotion Authority released the revised reserved activity list before it gets tabled at Parliament. The review of reserved activities was reduced from 62 to 32, and there are provision in the Amended Investment Promotion Act Section 27 for the list to be reviewed every two years subject to Cabinet’s approval. Access the list here.

The Economy

The outlook on PNG’s ratings have changed from negative to stable. Moody’s Investors Service modified the rating to stable because of there has been an stabilisation in the governments’s debt burden, a result, in part, of higher global process for PNG’s commodity exports and a commitment to long-term fiscal sustainability. (Moody’s)


PNG wants to redevelop its beef industry to stop relying on imports – the country spends about K450 million annually to import meat because local production does not meat the current demand.

The Livestock Development Corporation’s Managing Director, Terry Koim, has said there are plans to rehabilitate six existing abbatoirs and has set targets for 2025. (The National)


K92 Mining continues to break records this year with its Q3 production, with ore tons processed increasing 35 per cent from Q3 2021. The mine produced: 29,256 oz gold, 1,666,076 lbs copper and 32,161 oz silver. The company has also made progress with its Stage 2 expansion: ‘The quarter delivered a major growth milestones, with the completion of the Integrated Development Plan outlining a Stage 3 Definitive Feasibility Study and alternate Stage 4 Preliminary Economic Assessment case.’ According to its Chief Executive Officer and Director, John Lewins, that Stage 3 and 4 represent a ‘major capital investment into PNG’, with a total life of mine capital investment for Stage 4 of K2.15 billion. (K92)


Renewed interest in the Solwara One project has raised concern. The Solwara project collapsed in 2018, but now Deep Sea Mining Finance is claiming to have acquired the rights to the project, aiming to become the first company to commercially mine the ocean floor.

The Director of the West Coast Development Foundation, Jonathan Mesulam, and John Momori from Caritas PNG are asking for transparency and for PNG to state its position on sea mining. Momori said: ‘Despite Nautilus Minerals going bankrupt in 2019, their existing exploration and mining licenses are still active across the Bismarck and Solomon Seas. Since 2019 we have been calling for the licenses to be cancelled and for the government to place a ban on seabed mining.’ (RNZ)


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