Mar 24, 2018 Last Updated 3:53 AM, Mar 16, 2018

Coca Cola Amatil reported a 15 per cent decline in profits this year to A$182 million (US$158m)but the figure could have been worse if its outlets in Fiji and Papua New Guinea had not performed exceptionally. Its operations in Australia and New Zealand were challenging “across all channels” in the financial year just past, the CCA group managing director Alison Watkins told media in Melbourne last month.

“The decline was exacerbated by reduced promotional activity to the channel, a decline in sales headcount and reduction in call frequency during 2013-14, which resulted in below required service standards,” she noted. Of the multinational’s PNG operations, Coca Cola noticed “strong growth in volumes and earnings” in all sectors of trading during the year.

While neighbouring Indonesia was plagued by falling currency and a chronic competitive market, PNG managed to power away to high growth with a recent upsurge in investments in the resources sector in 2014. PNG delivered a volume growth of 22.2 per cent during the year. Earnings in Fiji for the country’s rum production and sales of imported Australian soft drink sector increased by 12 per cent during the same period while New Zealand experienced a poor, weather-affected start to the year and as such faced a downturn in trading. read more buy your personal copy at

Fine Food Australia is the region’s biggest annual food and beverage trade show. Featuring hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of visitors and buyers from around the world, potentially millions of dollars worth of deals are discussed and finalised at the show. The 30-year-old show is possibly the best platform for Pacific Island food and beverage manufacturers to display their wares. Collectively, the Pacific Islands have been a comparatively recent entrant. Over the past four years, a number of food and beverage manufacturers from island nations as well as companies that import island produce and package them in Australia and New Zealand have participated at the show under a collective Pacific Island banner.

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat’s trade arm, Pacific Islands Trade & Invest, has been facilitating the participation of island food and beverage exporters mainly by sponsoring a large-sized stand at the venue, collectively used by up to eight exporters displaying their products. Promotional and logistic assistance is also provided to the participants. This was the fourth year that the trade arm helped coordinate and host island participants. At last month’s show at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, exporters from Fiji, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Niue participated.

A continuous stream of potential buyers, new business contacts and interested parties thronged the Pacific Islands stand that hosted eight companies at the show that ran between September 15 and 19. Pacific Island exhibitors at the Pacific Islands booth ranged from coffee and cocoa growers, chocolatiers, honey producers and coconut product makers to manufacturers of packaged foods, bottled water, beverages and even alcoholic drinks. read more buy your personal copy at

The National Petroleum Company of Papua New Guinea (NPCP), the third largest shareholder of the world class Papua New Guinea Liquefied Natural Gas project (PNG LNG) is estimated to be valued at US$8 billion to US$9 billion if it is listed on an international stock exchange on pricing basis. NPCP, which holds the State’s share in the PNG LNG project, owns 16.6% behind Oil Search which holds 29% and the operator, ExxonMobil which holds 33.3%.

The project is expected to produce more than 210 million metric tonnes of gas over its estimated 30 years of operation. NPCP chairman Frank Kramer said that the net worth of the company depends on how they value the entity.

Kramer said the important thing is that it represents true value for its seven million plus Papua New Guinean shareholders. He said NPCP has huge potential to grow if it is managed properly and it gets appropriate support as custodian of the project. NPCP managing director Wapu Sonk said US$50million worth of gas has been sent to Asian markets in seven shipments so far, five in June and two in July. “By the end of the year we are expecting about 60 shipments to overseas markets,” he said. The marketing destinations are Japan, China and Taiwan. read more buy your personal copy at


Setting up a regional development bank gained the support of the Association of Development Financing Institutions of the Pacific meeting in Nuku’alofa last month. Tonga’s Acting Prime Minister Samiu Vaipulu floated the idea when he opened the regional conference. He noted the establishment of the Asian Development Bank, a Caribbean Development Bank and an African Development Bank and the most recent announcement of another development bank by the BRICS group of countries, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

“I urge all of you, the bank practitioners and institutions to move the development bank from being recognised as a national aspiration to a regional ambition by seriously considering the setting-up of a Pacific Development Bank,” Vaipulu told delegates. He also moved for this regional bank to be set up in Tonga, saying that the government would fully support it.

He suggested the proposed Pacific Development Bank would provide an alternative for financial institutions sometimes accused of attaching stringent and unfair conditions to their developmental loan facilities. General Manager and CEO of Tonga’s Development Bank, Leta Havea Kami told Islands Business magazine that such an institution would be a “conduit for funding to come to small island states.” Although the regional development bank has been discussed in previous meetings over the years, Kami said that since the challenge has been made at a government level, it has become more specific.

“It’s now about how to actually get about setting it up. We can do the ground work but it’s for ministers to do the lobbying.” This was the 29th Annual General Meeting for ADFIP. Acting PM Vaipulu noted that the countries in the region were small and served small markets, but the impact it makes are significant. read more buy your personal copy at


The introduction of sonar capable satellite buoys that are attached to FADs (Fish Aggregating Device) is poised to be a “game changer” in the Pacific’s lucrative skipjack tuna fishery with indications that it may change the way the skipjack fishery is managed and how the much acclaimed Vessel Day Scheme (VDS) is implemented in future. As currently implemented by the eight member countries of the Parties of the Nauru Agreement (PNA) and Tokelau, the VDS puts a cap on the number of fishing days made available to fish tuna in the waters of PNA member countries.

These are namely domestic boats and those from the European Union, United States, China, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, and Taiwan. Through the introduction of VDS, fishing effort has been limited, and tuna revenue for island nations has more than quadrupled over the last four to five years; from US$60 million in 2010 to about US$300 million today. At its inception, one fishing day was snapped up for between US$500 to $2500.

Today, some PNA countries are selling theirs from between US$10,000 to over $12,000 a day, with a minimum price of $8000 in 2015. Now an adjustment to the VDS may have to be considered with the recent introduction of sonar technology into FADs. Until now, fishing boats especially the gigantic purse seiners have been using FADS to make fishing more efficient. Fish tend to aggregate around these devices, which can either be anchored to the ocean floor, or more commonly drift freely.

All a purse seiner need to do is to steam to a floating FAD it had deployed weeks or months earlier to check on schools of tuna present. Prior to satellite tracking, less than 10 FADs could be managed, with satellite that went to up to 100, but still there was no guarantee that the FAD had attracted tuna. read more buy your personal copy at


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