In brief: Outstanding foreign exchange orders almost K1.5 billion says Central Bank and other business stories


Outstanding foreign exchange orders almost K1.5 billion according to Bank of PNG, Newmont makes offer for Newcrest Mining, and progress on Porgera gold mine. Your business news digest.

The long-awaited 2023 cocoa crop arrives in Kokopo, East New Britain. Credit: NGIP Agmark via LinkedIn


Outstanding foreign exchange (FX) orders in PNG amounted to K1.486 billion (US$422 million) as of 24 March, according to the Bank of Papua New Guinea’s March Monetary Policy Statement.

‘As long as PNG continues to provide exemptions and concessions under the PDAs [Project Development Agreements for resources projects], and with the underperformance by the non-mineral export sector in generating sufficient foreign currency, the country will continue to experience a shortage of foreign currency to meet its import needs,’ warns Acting Governor Elizabeth Genia. ‘It is important that the Government considers moving away from these kind of PDAs to production sharing arrangements, and adopt a more equitable regime to improve the inflow of FX.’

The statement projects GDP growth at 3.2 per cent for 2023 and inflation at 5.5 per cent. (Bank of PNG)


‘Increasing women’s engagement in paid work to the level of men’s could result in GDP per capita being 20.8 percent higher in the long run,’ according to the new World Bank report, ‘Unlocking the Benefits of Gender Equality,’ published as part of the World Bank’s latest Papua New Guinea Economic Update.

The report also suggests annual losses associated with absenteeism because of gender-based violence are equivalent to 0.5 per cent of PNG’s GDP. (World Bank)

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Following an indicative offer made in February, United States-based Newmont Corporation has made a ‘conditional and non-binding’ revised proposal to acquire 100 per cent of Newcrest Mining, operator of the Lihir gold mine in PNG.

Its proposal values PNGX and ASX-listed Newcrest at AUD$32 billion (K113 billion) and would give Newcrest shareholders 31.1 per cent of Newmont should the offer be accepted, with Newcrest shareholders receiving 0.4 Newmont shares for each Newcrest share they own. Newmont will now conduct due diligence until 11 May.

‘There is no certainty that the Revised Proposal will result in a binding offer for consideration by shareholders,’ advised Newcrest in a statement. (Newcrest Mining)


New Porgera Progress Agreement (NPPA), signed on 30 March, confirms that all parties are committed to reopening the Porgera gold mine ‘at the earliest opportunity, in line with the terms of the Porgera Project Commencement Agreement and the New Porgera Limited Shareholders Agreement’, according to a statement by Barrick Gold.

According to Barrick, the New Porgera project team will now ‘move ahead with the filings for a special mining lease and progressing the other conditions set out in the Commencement Agreement for the reopening of the mine’.

‘Localization is an essential part of our partnership philosophy so New Porgera will, whenever possible, source the goods and services it requires from businesses genuinely based and owned in Porgera, the Enga province and Papua New Guinea. Similarly, it will give preference to locals in recruiting employees for the reopening mine,’ said Barrick Gold President and Chief Executive Mark Bristow. (Barrick Gold)


A review of the National Information and Communications Technology Act 2009 has been announced by the Minister for Information and Communication Technology, Timothy Masiu.

‘The ICT sector has transformed drastically and there is an urgent need to take into consideration sector developments including critical digital infrastructure, data governance, cyber security, fintech, artificial intelligence, digital skills and cloud technology,’ he said in a statement. (Dept of ICT)


Several freight agencies, including Missionary Aviation Fellowship (MAF) and Consort Shipping Express, have received K450,000 in freight subsidies aimed at helping coffee farming in remote areas of PNG. The program will continue ‘into next year and onwards’, according to Coffee Minister Joe Kuli. (Post Courier)


Another K40 million have been released to the National Development Bank (NDB) to support small and micro enterprises in PNG. The funds are part of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Grant Facility that allocated K80 million in 2020 to help SMEs around the country. (The National)


A Memorandum of Understanding between PNG Customs and the National Fisheries Authority was signed this week. The partnership could see both agencies working together to address unregulated and illegal fishing activities, as well as collect lost excise. (Post-Courier)

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