Foreign investment vital to post-COVID PNG – BSP chief

Foreign direct investment (FDI) will play a significant role in the Papua New Guinea’s recovery and economic future as the country navigates itself in a post Covid-19 world, says Bank South Pacific Group Ltd chief executive officer Robin Fleming.

“Bank of PNG data indicates that in 2020 FDI flows into the country reduced by 66 per cent to K387 million from K1.1 billion in 2019,” Mr Fleming said.

“This statistic however does not reflect that the level of international investor interest increased in 2020, and that one of the key challenges is converting that interest into definite projects.

“It is promising to see a number of opportunities for businesses going forward. For example PNG businesses can participate in Government infrastructure initiatives such as the Pacific step-up partnership between the PNG and Australian governments where K582 million has been committed.

“Other examples includes the K1.1 billion national port rehabilitation programme; the PNG electrification partnership with Australia, Japan, the US and New Zealand that aims to connect 70 per cent of PNG’s population to electricity by 2030; and the ongoing JICA & NAC Nadzab Airport Redevelopment costing K692 million.”

He said the mining, oil, and gas sectors attract most of the foreign direct investment.

Robin Fleming BSP Chief. Photo: Facebook

When asked what PNG gains from FDI, Mr Fleming said, “Some of the key factors when reviewing an FDI proposal include the assessment of the net economic benefit and alignment with national interests, for example the potential for positive development of human and natural resources; creation of jobs and other income-earning opportunities; the transfer of technologies and skills and the contribution to training Papua New Guineans.”

“This screening process highlights the governments continued focus on developing a supportive environment for businesses to grow and attracting FDI.”

With the PNG Investment conference coming up in September, Mr Fleming, one of the participants to speak during the conference, said: “the conference has established itself as one of the leading conferences that raises the profile of PNG on the world stage.

“With a global reach, the platform is a great way of promoting PNG’s business and investment opportunities.

“Over the three day event, a line-up of distinguished panellists will cover a number of key topics, ranging from PNG’s place in a post Covid-19 world and the prevailing investment climate to important industry trends and major project updates.”

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