Briefs, Business

Aust for regional trade stability
AUSTRALIA looks forward to working with PNG on a Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (Pacer) Plus regional free trade deal. “Australia’s primary motivation for Pacer Plus is to secure the economic sustainability of the region. This will include not just opening markets but building the capacity of countries in the region to take advantage of the opportunities created by liberalisation,” Australia’s High Commissioner to PNG Chris Moraitis said recently. He said an indicative of this commitment, Forum trade ministers recently agreed in Brisbane to priority areas for early consideration. This included, (but was not limited to) trade facilitation, trade promotion and trade related development assistance.  He was speaking during the recent Queensland Trade’s mini trade fair organised by Austrade and Australian High Commission in Port Moresby.



LNG plan to draw top workers
THE PNG LNG project poses a threat to Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards management (DMPGM) existence as its lucrative offers can attract department’s personnel, department secretary Nellie James said. LNG project is sure to create great employment opportunities in the sector and in the spin-off businesses. Many are already eyeing the job opportunities that the LNG project will offer which will lure work force away from their current employment if they come with lucrative packages. Such situation is already being anticipated by the DMPGM. Ms James said: “The LNG project will pose threat to its existence.” The department’s strength to fulfil the vision 2015 lies in the commitment of its personnel.



B’ville starts training
THE mining department of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville has started its capacity building training programme for its technical staff. The training was in line with the Autonomous Bougainville Government’s desire to build its capacity to be able to draw down on mining powers and functions which would enable ABG to manage the mining sector on Bougainville. Two personnel Leslie Siowi, a graduate in environmental scientist and Simon Jaintong, a communications and project liaison officer, are currently attached with DMPGM and Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) respectively. DMPGM secretary Nellie James, in welcoming the duo recently, said: “I am pleased to finally implement the National Government’s commitment to ABG and particularly to its department of mining and welcome on board their two technical staff who will be attached with us and MRA for the next three months.



Metal Storm inks equity deal
METAL Storm Ltd has announced the signing of an equity subscription agreement and a loan facility agreement for an investment of US$35 million (K93 million) by Assure Fast Holdings Ltd BVI (AFHL). The first tranche of about A$2.1 million (K5.5 million) of capital was initially scheduled to close last Nov 3 but had been extended subsequently until Nov 23, according to chairman Terry O’Dwyer and chief executive officer Dr Lee Finniear. AFHL had advised the company that it would receive the funds relating to the first tranche settlement no later than close of business last Friday.  After significant consideration, and after discussion with AFHL directors and attorneys, the company has agreed to accept the modified first tranche settlement date.



PNG accountants challenged
PNG accountants have been challenged to have the ability to restore trust in business institutions and processes if they are to successfully rebuild economic stability. “Our aim therefore, as individual accountants and collectively, should be not just to rebuild what was in place previously but to create something better,” Paul Cooper, director of Australia’s Chartered Practicing Accountants, said. “It involves restoring the trust of investors, consumers and the broader public in the business institutions that, largely through human fallibility, have taken a serious buffeting as events have unfolded over the past 12 to 18 months,” he told about 830 participants during the two-day joint annual conference by CPA Australia and CPAPNG. It was themed ‘surviving turbulent times’. Mr Cooper is a public practitioner and director of Cooper Reeves Accountants of Salisbury in Queensland, Australia.