PNG PM Marape targets Asian investors

Prime Minister James Marape

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape believes that Papua New Guinea is an appealing investment destination for Asian investors – something he plans to stress during a conference in Hong Kong in October.

Marape plans to emphasise the country’s pivotal role in the global energy and mineral landscape, offering substantial returns to investors, especially those from China and other Asian nations. The inaugural PNG-Asia investment conference is scheduled to take place in Hong Kong on 16 – 17 October.

It will be hosted by the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum as a platform for government and business representatives from China and Asian nations to explore investment opportunities in PNG.

“The conference in October will serve as a platform for engaging Asian investors and complement the ongoing efforts in promoting investments in PNG’s minerals and energy sector, following the successful PNG Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference in December 2022 in Sydney,” he said.

Marape said PNG would also provide information on investing in non-resource sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, forestry, manufacturing, and the service industries.

Marape highlighted the timeliness of the conference, particularly in light of PNG’s ambition to tap into foreign direct investment from the Asia.

“While discussions about strengthening ties with China and greater Asia have been ongoing for many years, the focus has mostly been on the political front,” he said.

“In recent years, we have witnessed a notable increase in Asian investments in PNG, creating further potential for growth.”

He commended the role played by the International Trade and Investment Minister Richard Maru in pursuing investment opportunities within Asia.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Marape says the Medium-term Development Plan Four (MTDP4) will move the country forward when it is fully implemented and resourced.

Marape said during its launching on Friday that it envisioned growing the economy as the foundation, with everything else to follow.

“Our intention to build a K200 billion (US$55 billion) economy in this decade must be reached and in the process creating million job opportunities for our youths and citizens, and improving (their) quality of life,” he said.

Marape explained that the MTDP4 was building on the first three plans.

“The plan focus is on policy and legislative reforms that we started and will carry on,” he said.

The plan’s 12 strategic priority areas are: Strategic Economic Investment, Connect PNG Infrastructure, Quality and Affordable Healthcare, Quality Education and Skilled Human Capital, Rule of Law and Restorative Justice, National Security, National Revenue and Public Finance Management, Digital Government, National Statistics and Public Service Governance, Research, Science and Technology, Climate Change and Natural Environment Protection, Population, Youth and Women Empowerment, and Strategic Partnership. “I call on all of us, especially department heads and stakeholders in the public service to realign your work and corporate plans so we work together to ensure we reach the outcomes in this plan,” Marape said.