Parkop committed to harness full potential of SMEs, Women Economy Empowerment

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Economic empowerment of women will not only help improve the status of women in PNG but also contribute to the country's greater economic and social future, according to NCD Governor Powes Parkop.

"Traditionally women have been wealth creators in PNG. They are the ones who raise pigs, do the gardening apart from caring for their families. This is the strength and potential women have in PNG to improve their own lives and status, and to contribute to a greater social and economic outcome for the nation. This potential must be harnessed to make equality real and to create more wealth for the nation," he said.

Governor Parkop was speaking at a small ceremony today at Nature Park for awarding of 114 Savings Account Passbook for women from Morata who had undergone basic financial literacy training funded by NCDC at end of 2016 under program initiative by late women’s champion and Commissioner of the Board of NCDC Ms Janet Sape called Givim Han Long Life.

NCDC has reaffirmed its commitment in ensuring women involving in small-to-medium businesses in the city are empowered as a pathway for helping nationals to take full or major control over the country’s economy.

NCD Governor Powes Parkop said empowerment of women on all fronts was a catalyst to fully advance the country’s development.

“What makes a society, a city or nation great-for a brighter future-is by empowering their women. This is a proven pathway that is in our tradition and so we must tap or harness this to secure a better future both economically and socially. It will benefit women and the entire nation said Mr Parkop.

He reminded fellow menfolk to recognize this potential and abilities in women, and to learn to treat them as equal citizens and not as ill-perceived norms and cultures.

Many of the women receiving the passbook were illiterates and they underwent a financial literacy program that qualified then to have their passbook bank accounts opened with Women’s Micro Bank.

It was facilitated by Rural and Urban Women Empowerment Foundation, a non-government organisation based at the Morata suburb.

Govenror Parkop paid tribute to late Janet Sape as a passionate and strong advocate for women’s empowerment particularly economic empowerment and equality. He also thank Ms Janet Banebo the Executive Director of Urban and Rural Development Foundation for maintaining the program with the passing of Ms Janet Sape.

Governor Parkop said NCDC provided start-up capital of K300, 000 for the establishment of the bank and to support Women in Business which was the main driving force behind the Women’s Micro Bank.

He expressed his gratitude to the bank and was happy that the fruit of that investment has produced 20, 000 customers nationwide whilst over 9000 of the members were women in business.

He noted in the past that under his leadership NCDC has also allocated K1 million in the National Development Bank to support SMEs under a micro finance scheme during his second term in office but was disappointed that the result was poor due to bad attitude as poor preparation of recipients.

He said he was proud,however, to see the bank grow from strength to strength, indicating more support to further their investment including funding for more micro-credit scheme again given the focus and purpose of the Women’s Micro Bank

Governor Parkop said, having a passbook account, is only ‘the beginning of the journey where a huge celebration awaits when they reach their destination.’

Parkop would like to see the program be extended to other suburbs as well especially those that has not been reached.

“We will continue to support you. We should do away with our tradition of being restricted to markets just for daily income. I want to see you all step up and start venturing into mini-business and make a long term commitment to build your business ,” he told them.

Parkop further stated that he was planning to build trade centres for women at strategic locations in the city in order to make this transformation materialized.

However, he said, the challenge for him and the city hall is to identify parcels of land first to drive this policy.

He added that the government was upgrading the 6-mile market, when completed, will become an SME centre with kiosks or small shops which will show case this progress from just daily market to starting real businesses.

Governor Parkop also paid a tribute to female unsung heroes in the society for voluntarily furthering the empowerment work.

PNG's successful hosting of international events attribute to Investment, Corporate Sponsors

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PORT MORESBY: The Papua New Guinea's successful hosting of the international events has been attributed to the government’s investment backed by the corporate sponsors according to a State Minister.

In his first official address today to a breakfast in Parliament’s State Function Room, honorable William Samb, the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister in Affairs of Bougainville and Sports, none of the major events staged would have taken place without this support.

He was appointed on May 9, 2018.

“Just like our business houses, our government led by Prime Minister Peter O’ Neill recognizes the importance of sport and its role in the community,” he told the breakfast attended by members of Carbine International Congress whose main focus is on sports development.

On behalf of the Prime Minister Peter O’ Neill and his government, Mr Samb commended them for this.

He stepped in for PM O’Neill who is away in the Philippines on official engagement.

“It is wonderful to know that we have like-minded executives working here in PNG, many of whom have lived here a long time that give so much of their time and funds to supporting sport.

“This support ranges from junior development to international representation,” he said.

He said the government invested over K1 billion to host the 9th South Pacific Game at facilities that are world class.

“I am glad to hear that today you will watch our SP Hunters team play at the new Oil Search National Football Stadium that was completed through a tax credit scheme. I am sure you will have a great afternoon. All the investment by the Government and supported by the private sector is beginning to pay off,” he said.

In recent years here are some of our highlights.

1. Hosting the Women’s Soccer World Cup 2017 with 50 nations including North Korea Participating
2. SP Hunters win the QLD In trust Cup 2017 after only 4 years in the competition
3. Our Kummuls Rugby League team winning all 3 pool games in the Rugby League Cup in 2017 and holding England to a very respectable score in the Quarter final Success in Rugby Union in particular in the 7s format
4. Winner of the 9th South Pacific Games in 2016 hosted in PNG and including representation from Australia and NZ in selective sports for the first time Medal winning performances at the recent Commonwealth Games including a Gold Medal by Steven Kairi in Weightlifting
According to him, Papua New Guinea has also recently hosted the PGA Golf Open in Port Moresby where over 70 International Golfers contested a prize pool of a$150,0000.

“I am also pleased to note our own PNG Amateur Brain Tikiri finished in the top five scorers.

“We also saw more than 250 Anglers fight out the 2018 National Game Fishing tittles which also attracts significant sponsorship from the Private Sector,” he said.

PNG, he said, is a popular destination at this time as this year the country is hosting APEC which involves a number of meetings through the year which will culminate in Leaders Week in November when the leaders of the 21 Economies of APEC will be here in Port Moresby.

“I am sure you will agree with me this is a fantastic opportunity to promote PNG as a destination to invest and do business,” he said.

Picture Captions:
 Minister Samb addressing a breakfast at the State Function Room of Parliament in Port Moresby .

ExxonMobil PNG announces 2018 SME Digital Innovation Awards

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Awards to recognise digital technology innovation usage by micro, small and medium enterprises
Award nominees to receive complimentary IBBM Enterprise Centre business assessment
Winners announced at ABAC MSME Summit in September

Port Moresby: ExxonMobil PNG Limited, operator of the PNG LNG Project, has announced the inaugural SME Digital Innovation Awards in partnership with the IBBM Enterprise Centre that is set to recognise achievements of Papua New Guinean businesses contributing to digital innovation.

The 2018 SME Digital Innovation Awards will be presented at the PNG APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Summit and will be focused on SMEs that utilise digital technology innovation as part of their processes, or that provide a service using technology.

Awards will be presented across three categories including micro, small and medium enterprises.

ExxonMobil PNG Managing Director Andrew Barry said ExxonMobil PNG is committed to recognising and encouraging SMEs that use technology platforms to continue evolving in an ever-growing digital world.

“It is important that we, as a company, contribute to developing capacity, and assist smaller organisations to remain competitive and ensure equal participation in economic activities,” Barry said. “The digital innovation awards will encourage MSMEs to be creative and diversify into operational areas that utilise technology to ensure growth and sustainability across the country.”

The 2018 SME Digital Innovation Awards are sponsored by ExxonMobil PNG and managed by its long-standing partner, the IBBM Enterprise Centre. Through ExxonMobil PNG’s partnership with IBBM, more than 19,000 entrepreneurs and local businesses have been supported since 2010 and 32,000 training days and nearly 500 business assessments have been conducted at the Enterprise Centre. 

ExxonMobil PNG continues to invest in local businesses with almost 2.3 billion Kina spent on Papua New Guinean services, including 581.6 million Kina spent with landowner companies since the start of production.

Award submissions are open to micro, small and medium businesses operating in Papua New Guinea. Each business who applies and is nominated for an award will receive a complimentary business assessment by IBBM as part of their submission.

Award winners will be announced at the ABAC MSME Summit being held in Port Moresby from 10 – 11 September 2018. Winners will receive training provided by the IBBM Enterprise Centre and equipment to support future digital endeavors.

Finalists from the 2018 SME Digital Innovation Award will be nominated as finalists in the 2019 IBBM Biennial SME Awards under the digital innovation category.

For more information on the SME Digital Innovation Award please visit: http://www.ibbm.com.pg/ibbm-enterprise-centre/

Expert Advice Now Available for Home Buyers in PNG

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PNG’s house buying market is slowly educating itself on how to buy quality and affordable homes.  Expert advice is increasingly available from a variety of sources including banks and insurers as well as some of the construction companies themselves.
Andrew Avenell of Port Moresby based construction company Rhodes (PNG) says it’s in his company’s best interest to educate home buyers on what to look for in a quality home.  “We spend a lot of time giving people the information they need so that they can buy the right home for their family – a home that will last them a lifetime.  We remind them to do their homework, shop around and always check on the credentials of the builder – such as whether they are licensed, registered with the IPA, properly insured and if they always use Australian Standard building materials.  Very importantly we also advise people to frame their homes with high quality galvanised steel rather than wood.” 
Banks such as BSP have already done their own homework on many PNG’s builders with quality companies like Rhodes being granted ‘approved contractor’ status.  Home buyers are urged to check whether the builder they choose has been similarly approved. 
Another area of advice Rhodes has for home buyers relates to the ongoing costs of home ownership including building maintenance (repairs) and utilities (electricity and water).  Housing affordability is not just the price paid upon purchase.  Buyers are wise to choose a well-built steel framed home which will have significantly lower maintenance costs and a design that minimises energy and water costs.  Options such as solar panels and water recycling are also worth considering as an increasing number of affordable options are now available.
Avenell’s advice on how to buy a quality family home was well received at last year’s Real Estate show.  He has been invited back to this year’s show to share his expertise in ‘Modern Building Techniques’.  Avenell says that it’s Rhodes’ integration of technology throughout every facet of its operations that enables it to produce high quality homes at such affordable prices.  “Because we are prefabrication specialists, most of our construction gets done on the factory floor rather than on the actual job site.  This enables us to build quickly – a quick build is a cost effective build.  It also gives us maximum control over quality which means better homes for PNG families.”
For more information on Rhodes homes contact them on 7091 4457, www.rhodesprojects.com.  Alternatively, call in to the Rhodes booth at the PNG Real Estate Show at Sir John Guise Stadium on Friday 1 June - Saturday 2 June.  Admission is free and what you learn could be invaluable.

Image:  Rhodes Koki
Caption:  Rhodes homes such as the 22 built for Nambawan Super have a 50+ year design life. A Rhodes home is a ‘Home for Life’.

Hunters beat CQ Capras 18 - 10

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The SP PNG Hunters held off fast finishing Central Queensland Capras 18 - 10 in front of over 4000 fans at the National Football stadium this afternoon.

The visitors wasted no time and sent Junior Kirisome on the 2nd minute for the first try of the game. Connor Broadhurst missed the conversion and took the early lead 4 -0.

The home side replied with a try through Rahdly Brawa on the 12 minute. Captain Boas added the extras and the Hunters took over the lead 6 - 4.

Edene Gebbie scored the Hunters' second try on the 26th minute and extended the lead to 10 - 4 . The visitors fought hard and was rewarded with a try through Junior Kirisome on the 56 minute. The score was levelled after successful conversion by Broadhurst. Junior Rau put the Hunters ahead by another try on the 62nd minute.

The icing of the cake came on the 76th minute when half-back Watson Boas regathered a loose ball and ran 90 meters to score under the posts.

The conversion was unsuccessful by his brother Ase Boas and the Hunters beat the Capras 18 - 10

Japanese WWII Veteran Working to Bring Fallen Soldiers Back to their Homeland

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Papua New Guinea  Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has paid tribute to Japanese World War II veteran, Mr Masai Horie, who works works to recover the remains of Japanese soldiers and bring them back to Japan.

Mr Horie, who was Prisoner of War in Rabaul in 1945, is 103 years old, has traveled to Papua New Guinea 18 times and is a former Member of Parliament in Japan.
“It was an honour to meet Mr Horie tonight,” PM O’Neill said.

“His tireless efforts to bring his countrymen home is outstanding and has earned him the highest respect in both of our countries.
"Papua New Guinea is the final resting place of so many courageous men and women from both sides of the war.

“Our nation will always accord the highest respect to those still buried in our soil.

“We will continue to work closely with Japan in their efforts to repatriate the remains of the fallen, and return them to their homeland."

Image: Prime Minister O’Neill, Mr Horie and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Port Moresby Governor Parkop promotes PNG as a hub for investment, tourism

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NCD Governor Powes Parkop has flagged the country to visiting naval officers from Russia as an investment and tourism hub despite all the negative publicities overseas about PNG.

Mr Parkop said the visit by the Russian navy officers in their warship was historic, conveying his warm welcome to them.

During a dialogue hosted yesterday in Parliament, he commended them for showing interest in the city which is hosting the APEC Leaders’ Summit in November.

Mr Parkop said the visit was a testament of Moscow placing value in the Indo-Pacific region.

He added that the countries had a long history dating back to the settlement of Russian scientist and traveller Nikolai Miklouho-Maclay in the country from 1846 to 1888.

Governor Parkop, however, has assured the Russians that the country is full of peace-loving and friendly citizens.

When queried about the aggressiveness of our people, he gave them the assurance that our country is unique and safe.

“You all are visiting the country for the first time. All of you can become our ambassador. You have heard stories about us. It is good that you came to find out for yourselves to confirm that,” he said.

He stated that the country was rich in tourism spots, adding that it is the next frontier for tourist industry.

“You have seen everywhere else around the world but you have not seen everything until you come to PNG,” he said.

He admitted that like every other country in the world, PNG has its own share of the challenges.

Apart from tourism, he said, the country is also rich in natural resources and that he extended his warm welcome to Russian businesses to invest in the country, taking their relationship to the next level.

1. Governor Parkop;
2. Russian Navy officers posing for a photo Governor Parkop in Parliament's State Function Room yesterday (Wednesday)

PNG Kumuls to play four test matches in 2018

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The PNG LNG Kumuls have four tests scheduled for 2018, the Pacific Test, the Prime Ministers XIII to become an sanctioned test match and a two-game tour by an England emerging team.
PNG Rugby Football League chief executive officer Reatau Rau who was accompanied by Kumuls coach Michael Marum made the announcement in Port Moresby yesterday.
“The coming test is the Pacific test where on June 23 Papua New Guinea will take on the Fiji Bati. This will be the only test played overseas,” Rau said.
He also said the change to dates for the Prime Minister’s XIII match that will be held on October 6.
“This date has changed from a week before the grand final to a week after the grand final and will be called the Prime Minister’s XIII Test.
“After the Prime Minister’s XIII last year we saw that most of our top players were still in the finals series,” Rau said.
“The sponsors and the people have spoken about the team’s performance against the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII and the NRL has heard our request. They have gone back and moved the annual fixture a week after the grand final … its good they heard of our views.
He added that the final two test matches will be against the emerging England team, the Knights.
“The England Knights are the emerging England side and they are going to have a serious tour. They will be playing two games – one on October 27, the first match will be in Lae and the second will be in Port Moresby on November 3 at the Oil Search National Football Stadium. It has been a long time since a team has done a tour in Papua New Guinea,” Rau said.
“Coach Michael Marum says the last time a team made a serious tour was in 2001 when the French Roosters played in Goroka and in Port Moresby.
“The Knights are the future of the England side. They are just knocking on the door at the moment for a shot at the World Cup. We are proud of the England Rugby Football League for having the interest to come to our country. After the success of the World Cup last year and the Hunters and this great stadium and with the international media coverage we have had it shows the passion of rugby league in this country and we are honored to have the team visit us.”
Rau added that on October 13 there will be an Emerging Kumuls team to take on the New South Wales Country Under 23 team.
The curtain raiser to that match will be the a match between a Australian Defence Force women’s team and a select Confederate women’s side while the Oil Search PNG Orchids will face the Australian Jillaroos on October 6 as the curtain raiser for the PM’s XIII match.

PNG congratulates royal couple

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PAPUA New Guinea has joined the rest of the world in congratulating Prince Harry on his upcoming marriage to American actor Meghan Markle tomorrow.

While many world leaders have sent wedding gifts, Governor-General Sir Bob Dadae sent a congratulatory message through the local media yesterday.

US President Donald Trump and Mrs Melania Trump, for example, would be making a contribution to one of the seven charities the royal couple had designated in lieu of gifts, a White House spokeswoman said.

The royal wedding for the Queen’s grandson Prince Harry and Ms Markle would be held at Windsor Castle, outside London, tomorrow evening PNG time.

Prince Harry is sixth in line to the British throne and his soon-to-be wife Meghan is an American actress of African American and Dutch-Irish descent.

“I wish to convey my congratulations and best wishes to Prince Harry and Meghan on behalf of Lady Hannah, the people and Government of Papua New Guinea. The marriage of Prince Harry to Meghan is important and unique for the human race and especially for the Commonwealth.

“It reflects the spirit of oneness and equality among those borne of the royal family and those outside the royal family.

“Love is the essential element of a marriage, it knows no borders or boundaries to do with race, status and culture,” Sir Bob said.

“We thank the Queen and the Prince of Wales (Prince Harry’s father Charles) for welcoming Meghan into the royal family and we wish the royal couple joy and happiness and God’s blessing and guidance in their marriage.”..statement

Why China’s ‘debt-book diplomacy’ in the Pacific shouldn’t ring alarm bells just yet

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Talk of Chinese “debt trap” diplomacy is nothing new, but a recent report by Harvard University researchers has resurrected long-held fears that China’s debt diplomacy poses a threat to Australian interests in the Pacific.

The crux of the report is that Pacific island states like Vanuatu and Tonga, as well as other nations in Southeast Asia, are at risk of undue influence from China due to unsustainable loans they’ve received for infrastructure projects.

The Australian Financial Review quoted the report as saying that while Papua New Guinea in particular has “historically been in Australia’s orbit”, it’s been “rapidly taking on Chinese loans it can’t afford to pay and offers a strategic location in addition to significant LNG and resource deposits” for China.

The story follows a well-trodden path from speculation to suspicion to alarm. Last month, another media report emerged saying China had approached Vanuatu about building a permanent military presence in the South Pacific – an assertion Vanuatu quickly shot down.

The latest report by the Harvard researchers comes with interesting context. A classified version of it was allegedly produced for the US Pacific Command last year, but the version leaked to the Australian Financial Review was written by graduate students, purportedly for the US State Department.

Interestingly, the students were supervised by Professor Graham Allison, who wrote the book Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?. The “Thucydides’s Trap” in the title relates to whether the US as a hegemonic power can accommodate China’s rise without resorting to war.

But this so-called trap does not necessarily point to historical inevitability. Therefore, a thorough analysis of the dynamics in the region is needed to fully understand China’s motivations, and what can be done to avoid conflict.

China has long been accused of using “chequebook diplomacy” to gain favour with nations around the world. The implication of the new “debt-book diplomacy” in the Harvard report is that China is using unsustainable loans to gain influence with Pacific island states that aren’t able to repay them.

Suffice it to say, this form of leveraging takes influence to a different level.

Historical fears

There is a long history of alarmism in Australia over the activities of strategic competitors in the Pacific. During the second world war, Japan was widely believed to have been poised to invade Australia from bases in the Pacific islands. This threat was later discredited, but the legacy of this fear of invasion from foreign powers lingers to this day.

During the height of the Cold War, Soviet fishing agreements with Pacific countries were also perceived to be a threat to Australian interests. These agreements were widely seen as strategic threats that could lead to military bases and/or spying arrangements, but nothing significant ever came from them.

The constant in Australia’s geostrategic view of the Pacific is that the region is viewed simultaneously as both a buffer and a potential location of threats.

In the second world war and the Cold War, perceived encroachments by strategic competitors led to a “strategy of denial”. This involved creating a buffer through forward defence initiatives, such as the Pacific Patrol Boat Program, in which Australia donated 22 vessels to Pacific island countries at the same time the Soviets were negotiating their “fishing agreements”.

It might not be a coincidence this program has been reinvented with a new Pacific Maritime Security Program that will see 21 vessels delivered to Pacific island nations from 2018-2021.

Reassessing Australia’s role

Australia has also been the largest aid donor to the Pacific region, a position that has withstood recent increases in Chinese aid. Furthermore, this development assistance to the region was prioritised in the latest federal budget.

This is significant considering the relative sizes of the two economies and the relative ease with which China can allocate resources (without transparency and without regard to a domestic constituency scrutinising its actions). Presumably, China could very easily overtake Australia as the largest donor if it wanted to, and the fact that it has chosen not to is telling.

It’s true China is becoming more active in the region. Australia appears to be responding through development assistance, defence cooperation and emergency disaster response with its Pacific neighbours, even if there is speculation the US doesn’t believe it’s doing enough.

But if there is a genuine Thucydides’s Trap in the Pacific, what’s needed is a coherent analysis of China’s interests in the region, rather than a quick and almost reflexive interpretation of their intentions as aggressive. (One angle worth exploring its China’s ongoing conflict with Taiwan over diplomatic recognition for the self-ruling island, as six of Taiwan’s 19 supporters are in the Pacific.)

Of equal importance for Australia would be to understand the motivations of Pacific island nations. What’s missing is any examination of why Pacific states might be welcoming China with open arms, or even whether they are simply begrudgingly welcoming them.

This opens a Pandora’s box. Could Australia’s (benign) neglect and perceptions of neo-colonialism actually be part of the problem? One that exists independently of China’s intentions?

This is certainly the case with [Australia’s sanctions against Fiji]from 2006-2014, which led to Fiji’s suspension from the Pacific Islands Forum and the creation of alternative forms of Pacific regional arrangements, such as the Pacific Islands Development Forum, which are supported by China.

Australia sees threats coming through the Pacific, and not from the Pacific, and this should be the foundation of its Pacific diplomacy. If Australia continues to reflexively see threats in China’s diplomatic moves in the Pacific, it may close off just the sort of creative diplomacy needed to escape a Thucydides’s Trap.



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