In brief: Wafi-Golpu negotiations to resume and other business stories


Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister green-lights Wafi-Golpu negotiations, Twinza’s Pasca A project is next on the government’s list and Vision City Mega Mall announces rent assistance for businesses. The business news you need to kickstart your week.

Wafi-Golpue negotiations announced

Prime Minister James Marape at the press conference in which he announced the recommencement of Wafi-Golpu negotiations. Credit: EMTV


The Pasca A offshore gas-condensate project is set to be the next resources project that the Marape government will look at. The State Negotiating Team (SNT), led by Minister for Petroleum Kerenga Kua, will begin discussions shortly with Twinza Oil to complete a gas agreement. Prime Minister Marape said: ‘The NEC [National Executive Committee] has approved a funding allocation for the operations of the SNT and direct the SNT to commence and conclude negotiations for the signing of a Gas Agreement over the next couple of weeks.’ (Prime Minister’s Media)


The national government and the Morobe Provincial government have signed an agreement to recommence state negotiations with the developers of the Wafi-Golpu gold and copper mine, Newcrest Mining and Harmony Gold. Prime Minister James Marape said: ‘There’s a proposed draft milestone dates going towards finally establishing a mining development contract as well issuance of a Special Mining Lease in as far as this project is concerned.’ The Special Mining Lease is expected to be granted in September. (EMTV)


Jerry Garry, Managing Director at the Mineral Resource Authority, has said that a review of the Memorandum of Agreement for the K92 Mining-operated Kainantu gold mine is to be concluded soon. (The National)



IRC’s Sam Koim and IPA’s Clarence Hoot. Credit: IRC/Facebook

The Internal Revenue Commission (IRC) and the Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to allow both organisations to partner, share information and resources and conduct joint programs. The agreement will also help business owners by providing clear guidelines and processes.

Story continues after advertisment...

‘We should work on achieving commonalities in systems and legislation to provide to our clients an efficient and effective harmonised system of registration and provide an environment that is easier, faster and cheaper to do business,’ said IPA Managing Director Clarence Hoot. (IRC)


The IRC has also announced an increase in GST and Salaries and Wages Tax receipts over the past six months, with tax revenue increasing by K180 million.

‘This shows that we are one step away from achieving our aim of making GST as the number 1 revenue earner for the country,’ it said in a statement.

‘As part of the new measures to boost GST collections under the IRC’s Annual Plan 2020, the Commissioner General will be issuing notices to all Government entities including State Owned Enterprises to withhold all GST to be paid to their contractors or service providers and remit to the IRC pursuant to section 65A of the Goods and Services Act.’


Last week, the State of Emergency Controller, David Manning, gave Air Niugini approval to resume additional domestic flights to Daru, Kiunga, Vanimo and Wewak. According to Air Niugini’s statement, the airline is close to resuming its ‘normal domestic schedule’ and the SOE Controller approval for travel is no longer required for national flights; outbound flight to Cairns, Brisbane and Singapore do not require approval either but flights to the rest of Air Niugini’s international destinations are still suspended. (Air Niugini)


The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the tourism industry hard, with the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) expecting international tourist arrivals to decline by 60 to 80 per cent. That is why UNWTO has releases a COVID-19 Tourism Recovery Technical Assistance Package to member states, such as PNG. Economic recovery, marketing and promotion and institutional strengthening and resilience building are the three key pillars of the package. (UNWTO)


Bismark Highlands free freight

DNPM Acting Deputy Secretary Michael Kumung (right) hands over a fully signed service level agreement for the provision of sea transport freight subsidy on fresh produce and vegetables to BML Managing Director Hamish Sharp. Credit: Department of National Planning and Monitoring

Fresh produce from the Highlands regions is now being shipped to Port Moresby without freight costs thanks to a service-level agreement between PNG’s government and Bismark Maritime. The agreement will continue for six months and will help maintain the supply of fresh fruit and vegetables to Port Moresby. (Post-Courier)


Tenants at Vision City Mega Mall in Port Moresby will have their rentals (or part of them) waived in response to the COVID-19 state of emergency. Vision City Mega Mall’s Anderson Ting reportedly said that businesses have been sorted into three categories: Category One will received 100 per cent rental waiver for April and May; Category Two will get 30 per cent rental waiver in April and 15 per cent in May, and Category Three will get a rental rebate for April and May as long as they remain in business after the lockdown period. (The National)


The NEC announced last week that K600 million ‘will start to flow to the health, security, agriculture, business and household sectors’. This as part of the government’s K5.7 billion COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Package. (Business Advantage PNG)


The Teachers Savings and Loan Society (TISA) has announced an audited profit of K73.1 million for the 2019 financial year. TISA’s Chairman, Gabriel Tai, said: ‘The society’s balance sheet at the end of 2019 stands as K825, 420, 647 of total assets, a growth of 11 per cent from the year 2018.’ (Post-Courier)


Credit: PNG DataCo

The Kumul Submarine Cable (KSCN) has landed in Kokopo, East New Britain Province. Representatives of PNG DataCo and the Governor, Nakikus Konga, attended the historic moment. The cable landing will benefit the tourism industry as well as the health, education and agribusiness sectors. PNG DataCo’s CEO, Paul Komboi, said: ‘The people of East New Britain Province deserves better and so you will get that modern service regardless of whether you are in a volcanic earthquake zone or not without discrimination in technology, pricing, capacity, quality, reliability and speed just like those living in Port Moresby are receiving now.’ (PNG DataCo)


After an article in the Australian Financial Review saying the company China Mobile Ltd had been conducting due diligence on Digicel’s Pacific unit, Digicel Group has responded denying any deal between the Chinese company and the Irish-owned telecommunications company. (Reuters)


After a thorough assessment of 28 performance indicators, 64 purse seine fishing vessels belonging to the PNG Fishing Industry Association have achieved a certification to the Marine Stewardship Council’s standard for sustainable fishing.

Sylvester Pokajam, President of the PNG Fishing Industry Association, said: ‘This certification will open new markets for PNG-made products and expand on-shore processing and fishing of tuna, leading to new employment opportunities, foreign exchange earnings, and spin-off businesses.’ (MCS)

Leave a Reply