Tuesday, May 01 2018
The 34th Australia Papua New Guinea Business Forum and Trade Expo gets underway this week in Brisbane.
The Forum is the major annual business meeting between Australia and Papua New Guinea. It provides a platform for business leaders from both countries to discuss issues with the aim of enhancing the bilateral business relationship. This year’s theme is APEC 2018 – Achievements and Opportunities.
Discussions will encompass education; energy and telecommunications infrastructure; building the small to medium enterprise sector in Papua New Guinea; and the recovery efforts following the recent earthquake.
As part of efforts to promote Papua New Guinea products, the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA) Program is supporting five local businesses to attend the Trade Expo.
Of the five exhibitors, two are female owned handicrafts businesses – the Bougainville Pride Arts and Craft and CWAKAMA Arts and Craft from Ialibu, Southern Highlands.
Bougainville Pride has baskets and wooden craft products to exhibit, including some which are manufactured by women living with disability, while CWAKAMA products include laundry baskets, table placemats, trays and other items made from jungle materials.
Other local exhibitors supported by PHAMA to attend the forum and expo include Kosem Coffee from Jiwaka and Sirigine Coffee from Simbu. Niugini Organics, from East New Britain is the only coconut product business among the exhibitors.
Bilaterally, two-way trade between Australia and Papua New Guinea in 2016 stood at $5.6 billion (PGK14 billion), with around two-thirds of those goods exported from Papua New Guinea to Australia.
Australian investment in Papua New Guinea exceeds $18 billion (PGK 45 billion), largely in the financial services and oil and gas sectors. Some 5000 Australian businesses operate in Papua New Guinea.
Economic cooperation continues to be the focus of the Papua New Guinea Australia Partnership.