O’Neill to announce preliminary agreements for Papua LNG and Wafi-Golpu to coincide with APEC Leaders Meeting

The Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has announced that Heads of Agreements will be signed for the Wafi-Golpu mine and Papua LNG project, to coincide with the APEC Leaders Week. In a pep talk to business last week, he emphasised the benefits of hosting APEC 2018.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill Source: BAI

Speaking to a business meeting in Port Moresby last Wednesday, O’Neill said that Papua New Guinea had performed strongly in organising and preparing for the APEC 2018, which has involved hundreds of meetings, and brought some 10,000 delegates from 21 countries to PNG.

‘(APEC) is one of the most significant events that has ever been hosted in our country,’ he said.

‘It hasn’t been easy, I can tell you that.’

O’Neill added that ‘there have been many commentators’ who did not think PNG could host APEC effectively.

‘As usual, we have proven them wrong. We have hosted over 200 meetings very successfully.

‘APEC provides a unique opportunity for PNG.’

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‘That is a very huge undertaking for an economy like Papua New Guinea.

‘I don’t think many economies that have hosted APEC have had that number of meetings—as we have.’

Fast growing

O’Neill observed that PNG is ‘one of the smallest economies’ in APEC but also one of the fastest-growing.

He said there has been ‘strong support’ from other countries in the forum.

‘Heads of agreements are expected to be signed.’

‘APEC provides a unique opportunity for PNG.

‘Its 21 economies represent over 50 per cent of global trade, and over 60 per cent of global GDP.’

APEC Haus

O’Neill said PNG will need to work hard, however, to attract more investment from the ‘global companies’ that attend APEC.

‘There is not a long line of people queuing up to invest in PNG.

‘We need to go out and compete for investment dollars.

‘Papua New Guinea has to showcase its unique potential; I believe Papua New Guinea has got more to offer to the investment community than sometimes we ourselves believe.

‘Because of the resources and the people and the capacity that we have in our country, I think it is a unique opportunity for the investors to invest.’

Projects

O’Neill said there will be announcements about some of the leading projects ‘we want to have in our country’.

Heads of agreement are expected to be signed ‘around the APEC Leaders meeting’ for PNG’s second LNG project—Total-led Papua LNG—and the Wafi-Golpu copper and gold mine in Morobe Province.

‘It will give us an opportunity to (demonstrate) our potential to the investment community who are going to attend to CEO Summit on the Friday and Saturday (the 16th and 17th of November).

‘These CEOs represent all of the companies in the Fortune 500 and more.

‘They need to know what the opportunities are for investment that they can make in our country.’

Preferred supplier

O’Neill said that APEC is a forum for establishing strong relationships within the region.

‘Today, we are the preferred supplier of LNG to China and Japan.

‘That is a government decision from both countries.

‘If we were not members of APEC and we did not have a strong bilateral relationship we would not have access to that market, which is quite large for any LNG producer in the world.’

Last week, PNG also entered into an agreement with Australia to develop the Lombrum naval base on Manus Island.

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