Agriculture and tourism provide substantial future growth opportunities for foreign investment in Papua New Guinea, and British investors are being given the opportunity to play an active role in these growth sectors.
Speaking to more than 150 participants at the UK-Papua New Guinea Trade and Investment Forum in London this week, the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, said alongside the resources sector, agriculture and tourism expansion is broadening the economic base of the Nation.
“For many years, the Papua New Guinea economy has been based on the resources sector,” the Prime Minister said when opening the forum.
“We have delivered the most efficient LNG project in the world, and now with our partners we are initiating our second LNG project with Total from France.”
“Demand for LNG will continue to increase in the next thirty years and this provides opportunities for investment with a healthy return.
“At the same time, as an economy, we must broaden our horizons so that we are not held captive to the boom-and-bust cycles of the global resource sector.”
“Over the past few years we have been broadening the base of our economy focusing on sectors such as agriculture and tourism to be the key drivers of the economy in the years to come.”
“Our people were some of the first in human history to establish organised agriculture. “We have some of the most fertile soil in the world and a great landmass available for agriculture.”
“We need to mobilise the capital that is needed to open up opportunities to produce more food for our growing population, and access the huge export markets in Asia.”
“We are commercially producing milk, expanding production of cocoa and coffee and embarking on producing more of our own rice.”
“Just as an example, we have demonstrated that double the yield of rice per hectare can be grown in our soil than is possible in other parts of South East Asia.”
The Prime Minister further highlighted the substantial potential Papua New Guinea has as a tourist destination.
“Unlike many parts of the world where tourism is just one product based on sand and the ocean, Papua New Guinea has much more.”
We are a very culturally rich country, with a wide diversity of places where people from around the world can visit and engage with our people.
“As one off our tourism pioneers, Bob Bates, who is here with us today, will tell you, Papua New Guinea is a country that once people have visited they want to come back.”
“Our Government is embarking on a program that will provide incentives to increase investment in tourism.”
“We are piloting a program in East New Britain Province, working with landowners and MRDC, and we are developing a master plan that will encourage investment in the tourism industry.”
PM O’Neill told the forum that expanding opportunities in agriculture and tourism, requires ongoing investment in infrastructure.
“To grow future sectors we are investing heavily in new roads, bridges and airports that will get agricultural goods to market and enable tourists to travel in our country.”
The Prime Minister thanked the Government of the United Kingdome, and the Duke of York, HRH Prince Andrew, for their commitment to strengthening economic relations between the two countries.
“Papua New Guinea’s relationship with the United Kingdom is growing.”
“I thank the UK Government for expanding more opportunities in Europe, and Papua New Guinea will continue to work with investors from the United Kingdom to increase opportunities, particularly in oil and gas, mining, agriculture and tourism.”
“Papua New Guinea has proven that it will deliver strong return on investments.”
“We have demonstrated the political stability that our country is experiencing, and this is essential for business to expand investment.”
At the conclusion of the forum, PM O’Neill further extended his invitation to investors to visit Papua New Guinea as part of APEC in 2018, and attend the APEC CEO Summit that will take place in Port Moresby in November.
UK-Papua New Guinea Trade and Investment Forum was opened by the Prime Minister on April 24th, and included a key-note address by the British Foreign Minister, Rt. Hon. Mark Field MP, and was closed by the Duke of York, HRH Prince Andrew.
Other speakers at the forum included Papua New Guinea Foreign Minister, Hon. Rimbink Pato MP, Bank of Papua New Guinea Governor, Loi Bakani, and representatives of leading Papua New Guinea businesses.