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Time To Encourage Businesses And Investors, says former PNG Prime Minister O'Neill

Former Papua New guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill has warned that now is not the time to interrupt agreed resource projects but to move on with proposed investments through appropriate scrutiny and assessments.

Mr O’Neill, who is the leader of the People’s National Congress party and Member for Ialibu-Pangia, said encouraging business and investor confidence is one of the most important functions of the government to create more employment and grow the economy.

“To review existing agreements with a view to make retrospective changes breeds uncertainty and causes doubt for future investors, at a time when we need to increase confidence and bring more investments onshore,” he said.

“It is now time to move on with proposed investments through appropriate scrutiny and assessments of proposed agreements in a transparent manner.

“We can learn from the experience of the PNG LNG Project so that greater benefits are provided to landowners and to the greater good of the country.

“When the construction phase of the PNG LNG Project ended, so did much of the economic stimulus that this project brought to our country.

There was no consideration of downstream processing of our gas and greater benefits should have been shared with landowners.

“The Papua LNG project was agreed through consultations with all relevant stakeholders and the timeline for investment in this project has already been delayed as these consultations took place.

“The desired and stated outcome of the agreement with investors is to ensure the project makes a substantial contribution economically and by means of capacity and competency building, to the advancement and the social and economic welfare of the people of Papua New Guinea, and particularly for those people in the vicinity of the project, consistent With Papua New Guinea Vision 2050.

“To pause this agreement now after this extensive consultation is not in the interests of landowners or the national economy,” he said.

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