Prime Minister Hon. James Marape hopes to gain enhanced access to the Asian markets for Papua New Guinea businesses and industries at the inaugural Papua New Guinea – Asia Investment Conference in Hong Kong tomorrow (Monday, 16th October, 2023).
In a press conference in Port Moresby announcing his attendance to open the conference, the Prime Minister said not only does Papua New Guinea already export petroleum and minerals to Asian markets, but also timber, seafood and agricultural produce, including coffee.
Prime Minister Marape said PNG does not want to only invite investors to PNG to invest and buy PNG products but also for them to be a part of the government’s downstream processing endeavours.
He said PNG wants to elevate from being an exporter of raw products to becoming an exporter of finished products.
The Prime Minister said this is the aim of the PNG-Asia Investment Conference, which will include a number of side meetings that he will participate in when he arrives in Hong Kong on Sunday, 15th of October.
Prime Minister Marape said the sectors Papua New Guinea is interested in are agriculture, forestry, fisheries, petroleum, mining, and tourism, as well as other service sectors.
He said the government would also be inviting local businesses, especially those in manufacturing, to participate in the conference and make partnerships with family and corporate businesses in Asia.
Prime Minister Marape added that conversations would also be had on climate change and the conservation of Papua New Guinea’s forest for the Carbon trading market, where the government has introduced a policy to to conserve 30 percent of forests and to replant trees where timber has been harvested.
He assured carbon-conscious investors that PNG is a good place for them to do business because they can offset their carbon footprint by assisting PNG protect its forests.
President of the Papua New Guinea Chamber of Mines and Petroleum Anthony Smare said investments are critical for the country, and everyone must work hard to create employment for the people.
He said creating jobs is a critical challenge for both government and those in other areas, and increased investments mean more employment for everyone.
Mr. Smare said that was why the trade and investment conference is extremely important to unlock and create opportunities that were needed to grow the country further.