APNGBC NEWS : 9th Apr 2017

Australia Papua New Guinea Business Breakfast with Malcolm Turnbull a Success

APNGBC and BCPNG hosted this business breakfast with the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Prime Minister of Australia in Port Moresby on Sunday 9th April

— By APNGBC

The Australia Papua New Guinea Business Council and the Business Council of Papua New Guinea were pleased to host members guests of the Papua New Guinea Business Community on Sunday at this business breakfast with the Hon Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia.

The event was held in the Kokoda Ballroom at the Stanley Hotel and Suites on Sunday morning and was part of the Prime Minister's first visit to Papua New Guinea. The visit has been hailed a success. The business breakfast was attended by 154 people.

Our thanks to sponsors of the event, Westpac, Trukai, ANZ, Oil Search and Newcrest Mining Ltd.

The breakfast was opened by Mr Geoff Scahill, Vice President of the Australia Papua New Guinea Business Council and after the Prime Minister spoke, closing remarks were made by Ms Susil Nelson-Kongoi, Vice President of the Business Council of Papua New Guinea.

View photos of the event

Part of the Prime Minister's speech is repeated here, with a link to the full speech provided.

'Now yesterday as you know I visited Isurava on the Kokoda track and also the Bomana War Cemetery to pay my respects to the Australians and Papua New Guineans who made the supreme sacrifice to halt the advance of the Japanese in the Second World War.  That period in 1942 was truly, as Churchill described, the hinge of fate, so much depended on the courage, the endurance, the sacrifice, the mateship of those men and women who fought to stem the tide.  But they succeeded, they triumphed, victory was theirs and we are enjoying the freedoms of today because of the sacrifices that were made three quarters of a century ago.

Now we were fighting side by side then, but since then we have continued to work side by side during these extraordinary times.  A period of human history where the pace and scale of change is entirely without precedent.

Yesterday when I was with Lesieli Taviri from Origin Energy and a number of other outstanding Papua New Guinean entrepreneurs and innovators we saw how new technologies, the smart phone- ten years old - photovoltaic panels a bit older than that but nonetheless, it is only in relatively recent years that the cost of per watt has come down precipitously to the point that they are now, energy from solar is so affordable.  But what we’ve seen, those two technologies powered so much of the innovation, the ability to bring power, telecommunications, lighting to remote locations, to remote villages all made possible by technology.

And PNG coupled with the imagination and the enterprise of its people, working with friends and partners from Australia are able to use these new technologies to overleap the technology of the past, overleap the systems that we have had in developed countries like Australia for so many years and strike out into new fields and achieve the outcomes we need in terms of amenity, economic progress, education, improved health services so much more quickly.

But today, this morning I want to talk about trade and economics above all.  Now almost 5000 Australian businesses, companies, doing business here in PNG.  The two way trade relationship as you know is valued at $5.8 billion. Australia is a very welcoming market for two of PNG’s best agricultural products; coffee and cocoa.  And I look forward to Queen Emma's chocolates making a big appearance in Australia before too long.

This morning we were glad to discover that there is still some fine coffee left in PNG despite the fact that you’ve exported the record volume of Niugini Arabica to the baristas and kitchens of Australia in 2016.

And as I know that we have a national addiction to chocolate so we’re helping the cocoa farmers in Papua New Guinea maximise the export value of their crop with programs to improve the quality and consistency of exported beans. Your cocoa is now being used by some of our best and most beloved chocolatiers and of course as I said, Queen Emma I’m sure will be making a suitably royal appearance in Australia before too long.

We’re also a very big investor in PNG.  Our investment in Papua New Guinea of more than $18 billion is more than Australia’s total investment in Indonesia for example. And that says a lot about the level of commitment to PNG.  It involves so many industries and sectors, particularly gold mining, oil and gas.  It contributes to PNG’s economic growth and employment, directly benefits the quality of life here.  A great example of this as I noted a moment ago is Origin Energy’s program to provide solar panels to homes through a lease-to-own program.  Origin is also looking to the future by using block chain, the technology that underpins Bitcoin, to allow communities to reliably share their off-grid solar power and further spread its benefits...'

Read the full speech.

In the News

8th AprilTurnbull in PNG: PM visits PNG graves of warriors (Sydney Morning Herald)

9th April - Papua New Guinea trip not a pre-election endorsement of PM, says Turnbull (The Australian)

9th AprilTurnbull to focus on PNG business ties (Sky News)

11th AprilMalcolm Turnbull wraps up first visit to PNG (ABC)

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