BOTH domestic and foreign investors in Papua New Guinea (PNG) should seize and leverage on China’s multi-trillion-dollar Belt Road Initiative (BRI)’s business and trading networking, People’s Republic of China in PNG economic and commercial counsellor Liu Linlin urged.
He said the BRI, expected to cost more than US$1 trillion (K3.4 trillion) when completed, was launched by China on March 28, 2015 and had to date signed trade and business agreements with 65 countries, including PNG.
In five years, the BRI has:
- SIGNED cooperation agreements with 90 countries and international organisations;
- GENERATED US$70 billion (K237 billion) in trade between China and BRI countries;
- JOINTLY established 75 overseas economic and trade zones;
- CREATED more than 200,000 jobs;
- INKED 38 bilateral agreements and regional sea agreements, networking new shipping routes to connect 47 countries;
- IN the 1H 2018, caused Chinese companies to invest US$7.4 billion (K25 billion) into BRI countries sparking US$47.8 billion (K162 billion) in new engineering contract awards; and
- CREATED 356 new rail routes, 403 China-Europe direct flight routes to 43 countries and started postal services to 21 countries.
According to BRI’s official website, BRI’s aim is to promote transnational business and trade activities and connectivity via infrastructural development – road, rail, air and sea (ports) – to link China to the rest of Asia, South-east Asia, Europe, Russia, Scandinavian and Nordic countries and Africa.
Speaking in a media briefing on Thursday, Liu said PNG’s Kumul submarine cable network (KSCN) was one of the projects being funded and developed under BRI’s Government-to-Government (G to G) effort.
“When completed, it will propel PNG’s digital economy,” he said.
“The BRI signing between PNG and China in April last year facilitated the listing of KSCN under BRI. This is the beginning of PNG’s foray into a higher leave of global economics and trade,” he added.
Liu said BRI’s ongoing global development and networking for business and trade provided the potential for investors, both domestic and foreign, to leverage on the foundations laid by BRI.
“The evolving promotion of business and trade connectivity via continuous G to G cooperation and policies will benefit private initiatives,” he added.
“The Huawei-DataCo (KSCN project owner) is not the only China and BRI’s commitment to help promote trade and development. We have to date, provided the soft loan via the Chinese Exim Bank for the construction of roads in Mt Hagen.
“We are also involved in development and construction of West Lae Port’s industrial park and the construction of Enga Hospital,” he added. On the K2.03 billion PNG-China Integrated Agriculture Industrial Park Project (PNG-CIAIPP), Liu said there were still many issues pending that needed to be resolved by BRI’s G to G, especially on land issues.
The project in Western and Eastern Highlands are part of a massive US$4.46 billion (K15 billion) worth of impact projects to be funded by China.
The three projects are the US$4.1 billion (K13.8 billion) High Priority Economic Road Project, PNG-CIAIPP projects in Western and Eastern Highlands, and the US$32 million (K108 million) Goroka Town Water Supply Upgrade Project.
PNG and China signed the PNG-CIAIPP Memorandum-of-Agreement on Nov 20, 2017.