K92 Mining sets example in the mining industry in Papua New Guinea, Australia commits funds to help PNG get COVID-19 vaccinations and latest survey on COVID-19’s impact on the business community.
Agriculture and Livestock
The shortage of PNG breeders for day-old chicks continues to impact the poultry industry in the country and, according to the Post-Courier, the Livestock Development Corporation and the Department of Agriculture and Livestock have yet to address this shortage. The President of the Poultry Industry Association, Chris Prestwood, has reportedly said that what is needed is a ‘temporary exemption on air freight costs of fertile eggs from New Zealand’ until production normalises. He suggested that without intervention the shortage will continue until April.
Local organisation Medwagi Agro Services has delivered an SME training session for over 600 people from Medwagi in Madang Province. The training is expected to help locals get into macro agri-business by providing business development advise, planning, management and marketing tools as well as awareness of partnerships and savings. (Post-Courier)
Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) has released the results of its latest Pacific Business Monitor, a survey that has been recording the effects of COVID-19 in the Pacific business community. The January survey found that COVID-19 has had a negative impact on 84 per cent of businesses (down from 89 per cent in the last survey). Eighty-six per cent of businesses reported a decline in revenue (down from 89 per cent), and 75 per cent of respondents said they were confident their business will survive the pandemic (down from 78 per cent). The top three challenges facing business according to the latest survey are: not knowing when the crisis will end, closure of international borders and poor cashflows. Read the survey report here.
Australia has committed US$111 million (K389 million) for COVID-19 vaccinations in PNG. The funding is in addition to ongoing development aid. The Australian High Commissioner to PNG Jon Philp said: ‘A timely, safe and effective vaccine rollout will pave the way for re-establishing travel, tourism and trade. It will allow more families and friends to reunite and help bring back international training, employment, sporting and cultural exchange opportunities.’ (RNZ)
After announcing the payment of K25 million in corporate tax to the government, the Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) has commended K92 Mining Inc. Jerry Garry, Managing Director of the MRA, said in a statement: ‘This is the first time in the country for a junior miner to have paid this much money in taxes. We encourage other operating mines in PNG to follow this remarkable example set by K92 mine.’ (MRA)
The members of the Budget Management Committee (Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey, Finance Minister John Pundari, Planning Minister Rainbo Paita and Vice-Minister Kobby Bomareo) met this week with Loi Bakani, Governor of the Central Bank, and Robing Fleming, CEO of Bank South Pacific, to discuss government payments and address the issue of the bounced cheques that made the headlines in December last year.
The issue with the cheques seems to have stemmed from a ‘breakdown in the Finance Department email system, combined with a reduction in the cheque clearance time to two days [from 14], combined with the increased duplication of documentation requirements.’ According to LOOP PNG, the Committee agreed, among other things, to modernise the government payment system and adopt electronic transfers for all government payments. (LOOP)
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