IN PHOTO: (L-R) Moderator and Australian Journalist Tracey Spicer during a fireside chat with Prime Minister Hon. James Marape at the 2023 PNG Resources & Energy Investment Conference in Sydney.
Sydney, Australia, December 11, 2023 – Prime Minister Hon. James Marape today expressed confidence in the flourishing trust and confidence in the Papua New Guinea (PNG) economy during his keynote address at the 17th Papua New Guinea Resources and Energy Conference held at the International Convention Centre in Sydney, Australia.
This event, a significant gathering of over 1500 people, brings together representatives from both the government and private sector, resource sector ministers, and industry leaders. It started on Sunday, December 10, and ends on Wednesday, December 13.
The Prime Minister highlighted the establishment of permanent addresses in the country by major mining and oil and gas companies, showcasing the robust investment climate in PNG. Notable among these are Newmont and Barrick, the world’s two largest mining companies, as well as Total and ExxonMobil, the two leading oil and gas giants globally. Harmony, a prominent South African miner, maintains a robust presence through Hidden Valley and Wafi-Golpu mines in Morobe.
Prime Minister Marape emphasised, “Papua New Guinea remains an attractive investment destination, and we invite each and every one of you to continue investing in the country.”
He attributed this attractiveness to several factors, including a robust democracy, an independent judiciary, the resilience of the people, the carbon-negative environment, and the strategic proximity to markets, especially the growing Asian market.
Highlighting the growing trust in the PNG economy, Prime Minister Marape noted, “This is an indication that there is trust and confidence in the economy of Papua New Guinea, and those who have been investing in our country still hold ground.”
The Prime Minister identified the consistent increase in budgets since 2019 as a key factor contributing to the growing trust in the PNG economy. The government has invested a total of K101 billion, with allocations of K17 billion in 2019, K19 billion in 2020, K20 billion in 2021, K21 billion in 2022, and K24 billion in 2023. The recently unveiled budget for the upcoming year, at a record K27 billion, is the largest in the history of Papua New Guinea.
Expressing gratitude, Prime Minister Marape acknowledged Australia’s support of A$200 million (K455 million) through the Australia-Papua New Guinea Bilateral Security Agreement. The agreement, signed last Thursday in Canberra with Australian Prime Minister Hon. Anthony Albanese, is earmarked to bolster police training, anti-corruption efforts, judiciary initiatives, and other essential areas.
“We appreciate the ongoing support and collaboration with our international partners, and we are committed to fostering a conducive environment for continued growth and prosperity in Papua New Guinea,” Prime Minister Marape said.