The Papua New Guinea Business Update was held on 15 June in Townsville to further deepen the significant business relationship between Townsville and Papua New Guinea. The Update was arranged by the Australia Papua New Guinea Business Council in partnership with Townsville Enterprise Limited.
The update hosted 59 attendees including senior business executives, government representatives and industry experts across the resources, legal and financial services, building and construction and trading sectors.
Mr Peter Taylor, President of the Australia Papua New Guinea Business Council welcomed guests and speakers, in particular the three speakers who had travelled from Papua New Guinea to speak at the Update. The speaking panel was led by the Hon. Charles Abel MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer of Papua New Guinea, with additional presentations by Mr Richard Kassman OBE, Vice-President of the Papua New Guinea Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, Mr Adrian Hughes, Managing Director of Westpac Bank PNG Limited, Mr Ashley Finn, Managing Director of Townsville-based Pacific Islands International.
There are new opportunities for further growing the business and economic relationship between Townsville and Papua New Guinea now that Air Niugini offers twice weekly direct air services to Port Moresby supporting business and opening up new tourism and leisure opportunities in each direction. Townsville is the most northerly port in Australia with direct shipping services to Papua New Guinea. Townsville and Port Moresby have a sister city relationship established in 1983, the first established by the City of Townsville.
Townsville is well positioned to take advantage of coming major projects in Papua New Guinea as a key supplier of goods and services in prospective oil and gas and minerals projects.
Major new developments being planned include the Papua LNG project by Total, Exxon-Mobil, and ASX listed Oil Search Limited, while another ASX listed company, gold miner Newcrest Mining Limited, is working towards developing the Wafi-Golpu gold deposit, and PanAust’s Frieda River nickel project.
Speakers were collectively optimistic about the economic, trade and investment opportunities present in Papua New Guinea and encouraged Townsville businesses to explore their options including in preparation for the next wave of major projects in coming years.