Opinion: AmCham Coral Sea to play vital role in opening business opportunities


The newly-created American Chamber of Commerce Coral Sea is designed to play a key role in opening up business opportunities between US companies and Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Its inaugural President Peter Larden explains how, and why.


Credit: AmChamCoralSea via Facebook

AmCham Coral Sea inaugural President, Peter Larden.

Over the last two decades, I have had the opportunity to work in six countries across five continents. In every location, the importance of an engaged and connected private sector in supporting the health and resiliency of a country’s economy proved essential.

That is why a group of leading businesses has established the world’s newest American Chamber of Commerce – the American Chamber of Commerce Coral Sea, or AmCham Coral Sea – with a focus on promoting sustainable economic growth, foreign investment and greater opportunities for US and Pacific companies in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

Businesses in PNG and throughout the Coral Sea are still struggling in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Supply chain disruptions and inflation continue to impact businesses and consumers.

AmCham Coral Sea aims to work with local businesses, governments and local communities to help deliver private sector solutions that support a sustainable economic recovery. By advocating for local businesses and encouraging expanded trade between regional countries and the United States, the chamber can assist businesses to create new value and help regional economies be more resilient.

‘AmCham Coral Sea’s ambition is to be more than just another business association in PNG.’

One-stop shop

AmCham Coral Sea’s ambition is to be more than just another business association in PNG.

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Our aim is to provide members real value and play a role in facilitating new and expanded relationships with US businesses while creating a diverse range of new opportunities.

Up until now, PNG, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu have not had the benefit of a private sector association focused on commercial relations with the United States. AmCham Coral Sea intends to be that conduit. Building on the momentum and excitement of our 12 founding members, we will benefit from an engaged US Embassy and commercial office.

‘AmCham Coral Sea can help provide members credible and deeply insightful sources of information, particularly regarding doing business in the United States, and to facilitate US companies to do business in the Coral Sea region.’

We look forward to working together to support new partnerships and collaborate to facilitate trade missions and strong economic ties between our countries.

We see AmCham Coral Sea as a one-stop shop for all things Coral Sea-US business and economic engagement. Once accredited with the US Chamber of Commerce, AmCham Coral Sea will join a network of 118 AmChams across 105 countries. Local business access to this network would only further benefit Coral Sea economies.

New opportunities

The benefits of being an AmCham member go beyond exclusive networking opportunities and expanded access to new, reliable business partners.

AmCham Coral Sea can help provide members credible and deeply insightful sources of information, particularly regarding doing business in the United States, and to facilitate US companies to do business in the Coral Sea region. It aims to also provide services that make this process easier and support member businesses when they need to engage US government entities.

Through informational events, workshops and opportunities to collaborate on shaping AmCham advocacy priorities, members can also benefit from the membership’s collective knowledge and experience. Through these services, AmCham serves the private sector as an independent body driven by the passion and vision of its members.

Economic development

Finally, AmCham Coral Sea is not just about strengthening opportunities for business but leveraging a stronger private sector to help advance the broader civic and economic development of Coral Sea countries.

We are organised around our core values of integrity, trust, transparency and accountability, diversity and inclusion, and innovation. Using these values as the underlying principles for our work, we hope to contribute to a more resilient private sector that creates sustainable growth, drives recover, and propels broad economic development.

By joining the AmCham, either as a corporate or an individual member, you can be a part of this forward-looking organisation and help shape its priorities. A list of the 12 founding companies, information on qualifications for membership, how to apply and more can be found on our newly launched website: amchamcoralsea.org.

What’s coming next?

AmCham Coral Sea will formally launch on 1 July at the US Embassy Independence Day Celebration, hosted at the Hilton Port Moresby, one of AmCham’s Founding Members. Prior to the launch, we will also be kicking off engagement of tomorrow’s leaders by hosting a Young Leaders Reception with AmCham executives in collaboration with the US Embassy. As our first members event, we will be hosting our inaugural business breakfast in the coming months.

For more information email info@amchamcoralsea.org or come talk with me at the 2022 PNG Investment Conference in Brisbane in August.

Peter Larden is Managing Director and Chairman of ExxonMobil PNG. The views expressed in this piece are in the author’s capacity as President of the Board, AmCham Coral Sea. They may not necessarily represent the views of ExxonMobil PNG Limited or its affiliated or parent companies.

Peter will be speaking at the 2022 Business Advantage Papua New Guinea Investment Conference, to be held in Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on 15 and 16 August.

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