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APEC K9 billion investment highly unlikely: Barker
10:13 pm GMT+12, 06/01/2019, Papua New Guinea

It is unlikely Papua New Guinea will see an exact investment worth K9 billion (US$2.760 billion) coming in its entirety as a result of hosting APEC and the leader’s summit in November last year.

Investments are determined by a variety of factors including international and domestic supply and demand with level of risks involved according to the Institute of National Affairs executive director Paul Barker.

Barker was responding to the recent PriceWaterhouseCoopers report of K9 billion worth of investments coming into PNG as a result of hosting APEC.

He emphasised that before hosting APEC, the country had seen major resource opportunities in the minerals and oil and gas sectors that are constantly being reviewed by exploration and development companies based upon market demand and prices, resource information, ongoing exploration results, investment laws and conditions, including consistency and reliability of those conditions, including with respect to landowner arrangements.

“This is all ongoing and the APEC meeting and more particularly the ongoing mining and petroleum conferences and ongoing literature all can contribute to bringing partners together, or together with government, but it is unlikely that new initiatives would result specifically from hosting APEC events in PNG,” he said.

He said a large portion of investments comes from existing investors already operating in PNG for many years who are now reinvesting, upgrading, or making major new investments.

“In recent years many firms have had to defer further investment and some have had to downsize, in the light of difficult business conditions, including lack of foreign exchange, but also uncertainty over some of the investment laws, including with respect to their assured right to continue to practice in their field, whether it be agriculture, transport or tourism, for example, in the light of the components of the current SME policy or other laws.

New international investors will also be undertaking their own assessments, and whether they proceed with any investments will depend on those external and domestic market factors, but also domestic investment conditions which are partly determined by the Government into the future,” Barker said.

However, he confirmed that the Leader’s summit itself did provide opportunities for business leaders of which there have a range of investments discussions ongoing, including in agriculture and other sectors which were not specifically resulting from APEC but may be gaining traction during APEC and ABAC events.

Barker said whether how many of these initiatives see the light of day and result in tangible investment will remain to be seen or as stated investment commitments are determined on the market forces and the investment conditions, from law and order, to tax rates, state of infrastructure and other costs, level of competition and others.

SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS


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