APNGBC NEWS : 16th May 2017

33rd Papua New Guinea Business Forum Communique

The 33rd Australia Papua New Guinea Business Forum finished today with the theme 'Navigating the Cycle: Creating Opportunity in Challenging Times.'

— By APNGBC

33rd PAPUA NEW GUINEA BUSINESS FORUM

THE STANLEY HOTEL AND SUITES, PORT MORESBY, 14 TO 16 MAY 2016.

“NAVIGATING THE CYCLE: CREATING OPPORTUNITY IN CHALLENGING TIMES”

The 33rd Australia Papua New Guinea Business Forum, held in Port Moresby from 14 to 16 May 2017, with the theme “Navigating the Cycle: Creating Opportunity In Challenging Times” was attended by 400 delegates, partners, speakers and Trade Expo exhibitors. 

The Papua New Guinea Government Keynote Address was delivered by the Prime Minister, the Honourable Peter O’Neill MP, attending his sixth Forum and the Australian Government Keynote address was delivered by the Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator the Honourable Concetta Fierravanti-Wells. 

Delegates heard from the Prime Minister an analysis of the Papua New Guinea economy and a positive assessment of the bilateral business relationship.  He outlined plans for further infrastructure development in the medium term to further facilitate business and economic growth in particular the rehabilitiaion , and other economic policy measure to enhance business growth and economic development.  He noted the importance of APEC 2018 to Papua New Guinea. 

Minister Fierravanti-Wells highlighted the strength of the bilateral relationships including the business relationship, and said the Australian Government is committed to explore ways to further grow bilateral trade and the movement of people.  She noted that the Australian and Papua New Guinea Prime Ministers had agreed to speak with one voice in advocacy of open trade and investment. 

Delegates heard a report of the work of the Australia Papua New Guinea Business Council and the Business Council of Papua New Guinea especially working with the Australian aid program under the Business and Development Round Table consultative process in the areas of healthy workforce and communities addressing in particular TB issues, growing the Papua New Guinea economy including small and medium business enterprises, infrastructure, agriculture, and building capacity in the Papua New Guinea public service. 

The Business Council of Papua New Guinea outlined its strategy for identifying and advocating business priorities to political groups in the lead up to the formation of government following the 2017 national election, its proactive facilitation with the Department of Treasury and the financial service providers and the business coalition in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Noting a number of recent policy initiatives in Papua New Guinea in the areas, for example of small and medium enterprise, land, mining and fiscal measures, the importance of timely and effective consultation in policy development was emphasised to ensure policy makers are aware of the potential impact on business and the broader economy of policy under development, and to help avoid possible unintended consequences of new policy.

There was a panel discussion in plenary on the Business Council of Papua New Guinea’s first quarter 2018 Business Performance Report which highlights sales, employment, investment and consumer trends in the economy.

Young entrepreneurs described the opportunities and challenges for them in establishing and growing their businesses in Papua New Guinea, which highlighted the need for a concerted effort by Papua New Guinea to lift its ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings.

Panels of experts and business representatives discussed in Workshops a range of policy issues including employment opportunities in Australia for seasonal workers, improved production value, energy, small and medium business enterprises, achieving sustainable development goals, improved movement of traded goods and people across our shared border, opportunities, how business chambers can work more collaboratively to grow business across the border  and proposed a range of measures to further improve these aspects of the business enabling environment in Papua New Guinea for future growth of domestic and bilateral business.

There was a discussion of Papua New Guinea’s new agro industries and sustainable tourism opportunities to enable greater diversification in Papua New Guinea’s economy.

An update was presented by major resource companies in Papua New Guinea of the current state of existing projects and planning for future major projects in oil and gas and minerals.

The 34th Australia Papua new Guinea Business Forum will be held in Brisbane from 13 to 15 May 2018.

PORT MORESBY
16 May 2017

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