SHARON E BARNABAS
GREATER economic growth and business development in Papua New Guinea due to exploration of natural resources is drawing more foreign investors from Asian neighbours.
A Shanghai economic and trade delegation from the Shanghai municipal commission of commerce of China (Scofom) met with its PNG counterpart, the Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) and several key Government and private sectors in Port Moresby yesterday to discuss investment opportunities in the country.
In its first visit to the country, the delegation wished to enhance the economic ties and explore corporate potentials between Shanghai and PNG.
Fiji and PNG are the two countries in the Pacific region that attracted Shanghai for cooperative opportunities because they are ‘very representative … and are at the forefront of economic development in the region’.
‘We want to know how to improve on our imports, and what channels there are in place that we can use to improve business activities,” Jian Heping, vice-chairperson of Scofom and delegation team leader, said.
When responding to some questions raised by the PNG team, Ms Heping said there were some approaches that were successful in Shanghai which PNG can consider.
For business and companies to expand, Ms Heping suggested that there should be a representative office set up that will know the market situation and keep its clients informed.
A representative from the PNG Forest Authority (PNGFA) revealed that China was the main importer of PNG logs and asked if there were opportunities for China to assist with downstream processing in the country.
In its response to PNGFA, the team said: ‘There is a similar arrangement in place with Brazil and so they will take the matter back and further discuss it as there is opportunity.’
The Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce has already shown interest in Shanghai and said it was very much interested in forging relationships with Shanghai.
Others present were from NFA, Department of Commerce and Industry, Business Council of PNG, Mineral Resources Authority (MRA) and private sectors that included Paradise Spices, Sanko Bussan (PNG) Ltd, and Mukito Agricultural Supplies.
Meanwhile, PNGIPA will continue to hold dialogues with the trade delegation regarding the matter.