Tradelinked helps build business links between Cairns and Papua New Guinea


Interest in Papua New Guinea among businesses in far north Queensland, Australia, has never been higher. Business Advantage PNG dropped in on a regular PNG networking event in Cairns last week to learn more.

Gary Aylward

Tradelinked’s Gary Aylward

Nearly 40 business people attended the monthly Papua New Guinea networking session at Ba8 at the Cairns’ Shangri-La Hotel on 30 April.

The monthly sessions, held on the last Tuesday of the month, are organised by Tradelinked Cairns & PNG, a not-for-profit organisation that ‘is about building on the existing relationship between Cairns and PNG to mutually benefit both business communities’. Besides networking events, it offers business facilitation and has an up-to-date website, which includes an extensive bilateral business directory.

The companies represented last week ranged from Cairns-based SMEs to local representatives of companies like Telstra and ANZ, but one thing they had in common was a willingness to provide services to PNG.

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On one hand, PNG’s economy is growing fast but is chronically under-serviced. On the other hand, Cairns is located nearby and its own economy is struggling, in part due to a weak tourism sector.

There is even more to it than that, though, as Tradelinked Director Gary Aylward told the assembled executives.

‘We took a trade mission to Lae recently and businesses there were really keen to work with us. They said “You guys know what it’s like to get 100 mm of rain in a day, so you make things to the right specifications for us.”‘

  • The 2014 Australia–PNG Business Council Forum will take place in Cairns (18-20 May).
  • Watch out for our in-depth feature on the special Cairns-PNG relationship later this month.