IN PHOTO: (L-R) Moderator & Australian award-winning journalist Tracey Spicer, Prime Minister Hon. James Marape and PNG CORE President Anthony Smaré following the opening session of the 2023 PNG Resources & Energy Investment Conference.

The 2023 Papua New Guinea Resources & Energy Investment Conference currently underway in Sydney Australia was officially opened by Prime Minister Hon. James Marape on Monday.

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape in his keynote address has acknowledged the collaboration with the private sector and the positive mergers and transitions that have occurred in the likes of Newmont, Telstra, Santos, and others that have invested in Papua New Guinea despite global uncertainties. 

Prime Minister Marape when reflecting on the country’s economic growth journey in the resource sector, stated that the significant role played by oil and gas companies, as well as mining companies, deserves applause.

“The transformative impact of projects like the PNGLNG project led by ExxonMobil has been monumental. It doubled our economy, demonstrating the positive outcomes of strategic investments in the resource sector,” PM Marape said. 

Highlighting the importance of finding a balance between national interests and investor interests, PM Marape said, Papua New Guinea remains committed to providing a conducive environment for investment while ensuring a fair return for both parties. 

“The fiscal stability agreements in place underscore our commitment to consistency and reliability in the business environment. The lineup of upcoming projects, including Porgera, Papua LNG, P’nyang, and Wafi-Golpu further underscores the potential for growth and collaboration,” he said. 

PNG Chamber of Resources & Energy President Anthony Smaré in his opening remarks says the 17th PNG Resources and Energy Investment Conference is the biggest one held yet, catering for an expected 1500 attendees, over 90 exhibition booths with a dynamic programme featuring 102 speakers over 3 and a half days.

Mr Smaré said the Conference is traditionally held in Sydney, due to ease of access of international attendees to travel to Sydney compared to holding this conference in PNG or other locations, and due to Australia traditionally being an important source and gateway of investment into PNG.

“Over the years, this conference has been very successful in attracting and promoting investment, with significant amount of business done on the margins of the conference between project promoters and investors, and PNG projects and potential suppliers, customers and partners. 

This conference’s purpose is to promote PNG as an investment destination, particularly in the resources and energy sector, which accounts for around 90% of the country’s exports. Working closely with the National Government, PNGCORE uses the Conference and exhibition to promote the government agenda and government policies, the investment opportunities, and opportunities for trade in PNG with PNG companies and PNG projects, and generally PNG’s attractiveness as an investment destination,” he said. 

“It is the first time that our country is on the cusp of delivering not one, but four major resource projects of over $30 billion. Papua LNG with its $12 billion capital cost, P’nyang at $10 billion, the reopening of Porgera, and Wafi-Golpu Copper-Gold project at $6 billion or potentially higher.

Looking at the experience of the economic transformation that occurred as a result of the massive capital investment in the PNG LNG project, it’s almost certain in my view that within 8 years, the GDP of PNG will double from its present levels just from the completion and production of the projects.” 

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