Council to meet in Aust next year


THE Australia-Papua New Guinea Business Council will meet in May next year in Brisbane, Australia.
This was announced during the closing of the three-day business forum and trade expo at The Stanley Hotel and Suites in Port Moresby this week.
New council president Peter Taylor, who presented a summary of the events during the closing on Tuesday, said 400 delegates, partners, speakers and trade expo exhibitors attended.
The theme of the Port Moresby forum was “Navigating the Cycle: Creating Opportunity in Challenging Times”.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, who delivered the keynote address, gave an analysis of the Papua New Guinea economy, a positive development in the medium term to further facilitate business and economic growth in particular rehabilitation, and other economic policy measure to enhance business growth and economic development.
He noted the importance of Apec 2018 to Papua New Guinea.
The Australian Government was represented by Minister for International Development and Pacific Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells.
She highlighted the strength of the bilateral relationship including the business relationship. She said the Australian Government was committed to exploring ways to further grow bilateral trade and the movement of people.
She noted that the Australian and Papua New Guinea Prime Ministers had agreed to speak with one voice on the advocacy of open trade and investment.
The delegates heard a report of the Australia-Papua New Guinea council and the Business Council of Papua New Guinea working with the Australian aid programme under the Business and Development Roundtable consultative process.
It covered areas such as a healthy workforce, communities addressing in particular TB issues, growing small and medium business enterprises, and building capacity in the Papua New Guinea public service.
The council outlined its strategy for identifying and advocating business priorities to political groups in the lead-up to formation of a new government.
The forum noted a number of initiatives in Papua New Guinea in the areas of SME (small to medium enterprise), land, mining and fiscal measures.
The importance of timely and effective consultation in policy development was emphasised to ensure policy makers were aware of the potential impact of business and broader economy of policy under development, and to help avoid possible unintended consequences of new policy.
There was a panel discussion on the PNG Business Council’s first quarter business performance report.
It highlighted sales, employment, investment and consumer trends in the economy.
Taylor said young entrepreneurs described the opportunities and challenges for them in establishing and growing their businesses in Papua New Guinea.
It highlighted the need for a concerted effort by Papua New Guinea to lift its ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings.
Panels of experts and business representatives discussed in workshops a range of policy issues including employment opportunities in Australia for seasonal workers, improved production value, energy, SMEs, achieving sustainable development goals and improved movement of traded goods.
There was also a discussion of Papua New Guinea’s new agro industries and sustainable tourism opportunities to enable greater diversification in Papua New Guinea’s economy.

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