In brief: Visas-on-arrival suspensions for November, and other business news

Visas-on-arrival suspensions to hit tourism, Bougainville referendum question agreed, and  rice imports slammed. Your weekly digest of the latest business news.

in brief

Papua New Guinea is suspending visa-on-arrival arrangements for the month of November. The PNG Immigration and Citizenship Authority said the temporary suspension is part of enhanced border security measures around the APEC Leaders Summit in the middle of next month.

The suspension of visa on arrival is expected to have a negative effect on the struggling tourism industry, especially in the peak tourism season in PNG.

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Leaders from Bougainville and Papua New Guinea have finally agreed to the question that will be asked in next year’s independence referendum. The referendum, tentatively scheduled for June 2019,  will mark the end of a 20-year peace process that followed the end of the Bougainville civil war in the 1990s. The question is: “Do you agree for Bougainville to have: (1) Greater Autonomy (2) Independence?”

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About K800 million is spent annually on importing rice to feed the eight million people of Papua New Guinea, says North Fly MP James Donald. He reportedly said this when witnessing the delivery of 12 solar-powered rice milling machines to farmers in Markham in Morobe.

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The proposed Coal Power Plant Project to ease the power burden in Lae city could create more than 300 jobs for locals and cost an initial K300 million to set up the project, according to Communications and Energy Minister Sam Basil. Mayur Resources Managing Director Paul Mulder said that the Coal Power Plant will operate within Environmental Regulations.

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An official travel ban has been imposed on Australian miner’s RTG executives and board members from entering PNG, especially Bougainville, according to the Post-Courier. The PNG Immigration and Citizenship Authority issued the ban on October 3 following concerns expressed by the Autonomous Bougainville Government over its activities in the troubled Panguna mine area.

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Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Emil Tammur MP and the Australian Foreign Minister Senator Marise Payne, reopened the refurbished National Museum and Art Gallery (NMAG) in Port Moresby this week. ‘With limited work done to the museum since it first opened in 1977, we are pleased to see the building brought into the modern era with Australian support,’ said Dr Andrew Moutu, Director of NMAG.

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PNG Air’s engineering team are reportedly working on a heavy maintenance C Check for P2-ATC, the fourth of the Airline’s seven brand new ATR72-600 aircraft. ‘As we have all the expertise, facilities and regulatory approvals required we took the decision to run the C Checks on our new ATR aircraft in house,’ said the acting chief executive officer of PNG Air, Paul Abbot.

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The much talked about restructure of PNG Power has reportedly been rearranged. A restructuring of 20 positions will follow after APEC, according to PPL Acting Managing director Carolyn Blacklock.

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A new report on PNG’s Special Agricultural and Business Leases, or SABLs, has detailed appalling human rights abuses suffered by indigenous landowners. PNG group Act Now! and the British-based War on Want visited six provinces, interviewing people who have been cheated out of their land.

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Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says the Hilton Hotel and Star Mountain Plaza project in Port Moresby is a testament to public-private partnerships and represents a resource landowner investment that contributes to nation building. He was speaking at the opening of the 212-room, five-star Hilton Hotel and 3900-square-metre Kutubu Convention Centre on October 12.

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Photograph of the week

Brazilian performers entertain guests at the official opening of Star Mountain Plaza last week. Source: David Collins

Comments

  1. Dr. Jonah Tisam says:

    Re: Bougainville Referendum Questions

    I cconsider these two questions both extremes and they did not provide a third middle-ground for Bougainvllians. Why can’t a third question be frame? And the first Question is vague , that is what does it mean by MORE AUTONOMY? Why can a third option for Bougainville be “Self-government in free Association with PNG?”

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