Marape launched the Agriculture Medium Term Development Plan 2020 – 2022 and committed K50 million to the sector, the PNG Electrification Partnership makes progress and Misima gold project takes first steps towards environmental approvals. The business news you need to kickstart your week.
Prime Minister Marape launched the Agriculture Medium Term Development Plan 2020 – 2022 last week. During the launch, he presented K20 million to John Simon, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, to help stabilise prices of agricultural commodities and support farmers. Marape has committed K50 million for price stabilisation.
‘Agriculture is the sector of our economy that will bring 80 per cent of our population, presently living a subsistence life on land, into commercial agriculture,’ he said in a statement. ‘Our focus [is] on agriculture today – and more so for transfers of better price to growers for coffee, cocoa, copra, oil palm [sic], vanilla and other exportable commodities will benefit the country and farmers.’ (Department of Prime Minister & NEC)
James Rice, Group Chief Executive Officer at Paradise Foods, has announced that next year the company will build a K55 million Queen Emma Chocolate factory in Lae. The new factory will be ‘20 times bigger’ than the Port Moresby factory and it is expected to produce 200 tonnes of chocolate per month. (The National)’
After last week’s coverage on Niugini Biomed’s COVID-19 research, the Prime Minister announced that the National Executive Council officially approved K10.2 million to assist COVID-19 ‘drug research, procurement of sample drugs, development of research laboratories and trial of drugs.’
The K10.2 million won’t be given to Niugini Biomed, as was speculated; instead, it will be for a program supervised by the relevant authorities and to assist in the rebuilding of science faculty laboratories at the University of PNG. (Department of Prime Minister & NEC)
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) – PNG Electrification Partnership (PEP) was launched last week. The five-year US$57 million (K200 million) project will deliver electricity to about 200,000 households in PNG.
‘This contribution to the commitments we made at APEC represents our partnership in action,’ said US Ambassador to PNG, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands, Erin McKee. (LOOP PNG)
The Internal Revenue Commission (IRC) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Immigration and Citizenship Authority (ICA) to share information and hence ensure foreign businesses and workers are being tax-compliant. IRC’s Commissioner Sam Koim reportedly told The National: ‘We are also working with ICA on the determination of citizenship and the checklist for applicants to check on their tax compliance status and also the departure prohibition notices.
‘So if someone owes us tax and is about to leave the country, we can issue a notice that prevents them exiting.
‘ICA can implement it on the spot or if you owe taxes and you want to take an overseas trip then we can prevent you from going offshore.’ (The National)
ANZ Bank inaugurated the ANZ Goroka Haus, its new corporate site in Eastern Highlands Province. The centre will service corporate and institutional clients in the region and will place special emphasis on PNG’s coffee export industry. (ANZ)
An independent test has reportedly verified the production of ‘premium quality quicklime’ at Mayur Resources’ Central Cement and Lime Project, which has the potential to meet PNG’s quicklime requirements and also provide ‘direct access to Australian and other South Pacific export markets for use in various applications and sectors including the key end user markets of gold, nickel and alumina processing,’ said Paul Mulder, Managing Director of Mayur Resources. (LOOP PNG)
The Managing Director of Kingston Resources, Andrew Corbett, reportedly said the company is excited about taking the ‘first steps down the environment approvals pathway for our Misima gold project (in Milne Bay Province).’ Misima resumed operations last month after the lifting of COVID-19 travel restrictions. The company has submitted an environment intention report to the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority. (The National)
Coppermoly Limited has deferred indefinitely its exploration plans and drilling program at its Mt Nakru prospect in West Britain Province because of COVID-19 travel restrictions between Australia and PNG, reports The National.
PNG Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PNGEITI) participated in the week-long review of the Woodlark mining project memorandum of agreement. According to a release, PNGEIT participation in the review ‘was to ensure EITI provisions were included in the project agreement for contract transparency or disclosure of contracts.’ (PNGEITI)
Photograph of the week
PNG joined the rest of the world over to follow the US presidential election and Prime Minister Marape has joined world leaders in congratulating President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris on their reported victory. The Prime Minister said in a statement: ‘The US Elections was an event that captivated the world, including PNG, with our people glue to their TV screens and Internet to get latest updates. I look forward to PNG strengthening relations with the USA.’ (Department of Prime Minister & NEC)
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