Papua New Guinea set to make resource project agreements public starting 2021, news on Wafi-Golpu and Kina Bank releases its Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. The business news you need to kickstart your week.
Prime Minister James Marape said it’s time to get Wafi-Golpu project off the ground and stressed the importance of concluding the discussions regarding the issue of the proposed deep sea tailings placement (DSTP) in the Huon Gulf.
Marape said that there will be final meeting in Lae, Morobe Province, this week to discuss the issue of DSTP versus a tailings dam.
‘In the course of [these] conversations, time is going on, and time lost will never be claimed again,’ Marape reportedly said. ‘In my view, data and statistics will compel us.’ (Post-Courier)
The Post-Courier reported that Barrick’s CEO Mark Bristow arrived in Port Moresby to meet with the State Negotiation Team to continue talks on the future of the Porgera gold mine. According to the Post-Courier, Bristow also met with the Porgera Landowners Association’s Special Mining Lease.
Bristow also met with Prime Minister Marape and in a joint statement both announced that Barrick Niugini will continue to be Porgera’s operator. (Business Advantage PNG)
Starting next year, PNG will have to publicly disclose all mining, oil and gas project agreements, said the PNG Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PNGEITI) in a statement. The change is part of PNG’s efforts to implement the EITI global best practice standard.
‘Disclosure of project agreements, MoAs (Memorandums of Agreements) and contracts, allows the public to monitor the conduct of the parties involved in the extraction and sale of mineral and petroleum commodities to determine who is accountable for non-compliance, whether it be benefits sharing, environmental impacts, social obligations and so forth,’ said the head of PNGEITI, Lucas Alkan.
‘The government has been talking about getting its fair share from resource projects; however if the deals have been done badly in the first place by giving away too many fiscal concessions like a 10-year tax holiday or other tax exemptions then we have locked ourselves into a position where we cannot do much.’ (PNGETI)
Bank South Pacific (BSP) and the ICT company Digitec collaborated to get an online payment solution up and running on Digitec’s website. The solution provides customers much-needed 24/7 access to products and services and allows Digitec customers to pay online and schedule recurring payments. Nirmal Singh, CEO of Digitec, said: ‘Consumerisation is changing the way B2B (Business-to-Business) customers pay for products they want. While adjusting our business to utilise online payments, we become more used to other types of trends coming in the market that will keep our business relevant among our target audience.’ (BSP)
In its Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, Kina Bank said that PNG’s economy is ‘expecting a relatively modest two per cent fall in real gross domestic product.’ It also said that because of the challenges COVID-19 has brought to PNG’s (and the global) economy debt is expected to increase to 48.9 per cent of GDP at the end of the year. Previous projections had suggested 40.3 per cent. Kina added that PNG’s road to recovery ‘looks promising relative to some of PNG’s neighbours’. (The National)
The Livestock Development Corporation, the East Sepik government and landowners have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to commence the rehabilitation of the Wariman Abattoir in East Sepik. Once the K5 million rehabilitation is completed, the abattoir is expected to create about 500 jobs and have an annual turnover of K30 to K50 million. (The National)
Given global increased demand for high-quality coconut products, the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market (PHAMA) Plus Program and the Kokonas Indastri Koporesen have partnered to help in the development of industry-wide standards for tradable coconut products. Coconut products are the fourth largest agricultural commodity export in PNG and exports returns average K124 million per year. (PHAMA)
There are no plans to sell Telikom assets to Fijian company Amalgamated Telecom Holding (ATH), explained Kumul Consolidated Holdings’s Chairman Peter Aitsi and Managing Director Isikeli Taureka. They reportedly said: ‘In terms of the arrival of the new operator, the decision to issue a third mobile carrier licence to Digitec-ATH was made by the previous government and carried out by the National Information and Communication Technology Authority (NICTA)’. (The National)
Photograph of the week
Last week, the Australian High Commissioner Jon Philp met with the newly elected President of Bougainville Ishmael Toroama in Buka. This is the second meeting between Philp and Toroama since Toroama’s election. During the weeklong trip to Bougainville, Philp also met with New Zealand High Commissioner Phillip Taula and United Nations in Papua New Guinea Resident Coordinator, Gianluca Rampolla.
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