By PETER ESILA
PARADISE Foods Ltd will be investing K115 million this year on expansion and improvements to its operations, chief executive officer James Rice says.
Rice said the company would also be introducing new products into the market.
“I believe the economy in PNG will remain the same unless some large projects that bring investment and jobs are approved,” he said.
Rice said this when giving his 2021 business and economy outlook.
He believed the company’s business environment would remain the same.
“The economy will be tough for everyday Papua New Guineans, so we will not raise our prices on any of our products except for chocolate, we still expect our business to grow but not because the economy grows,” Rice said.
“We will grow our business by more hard work.
“The current economic difficulties for PNG is only temporary.
“Our outlook for the long-term growth of PNG’s economy is still optimistic. The Covid-19 pandemic gave us a pothole in a rising road.
“Our group will still be investing K115 million in 2021 on expansion and improvements, and we will be launching new products into the market.
“We still have potential to grow and so does the country.”
Aside from the K115 million, the company is planning to build a K55 million chocolate factory in Lae to cater for the growth of its Queen Emma brand.
“We need more farmers to supply our growth,” he said.
“We want our chocolate business to be 20 times bigger.”
The investment is expected to create 75 jobs and support more cocoa farmers.
Rice said this would give the 2,000-plus cocoa farmers the chance to increase production and for new growers to start supplying.
“My passion is I like to create jobs,” he said.
The new factory will be 20 times bigger than the current factory in Port Moresby which produces 10 tonnes a month.
By PETER ESILA