Dubai investor plans $1B PNG spend

A DUBAI-based investment house plans to outlay $US1 billion to develop Manus Province in Papua New Guinea as an international free trade zone.
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AWAL Impex International held meetings with the national government to discuss investments in telecommunication, oil and gas, construction and infrastructure development projects.

Company secretary Ashwini Bharadwaj told The National that AWAL had vast interests to invest right across PNG and not only in Manus.

"Our investment analyst is working on some research and development and our investment can range between $1 billion [and] $10 billion based on the research findings on the investment needs," he said.

"We will be able to allocate specific projects' investment allocation once we get the investment requirement from our research and development team.

"We have plans to invest on telecommunication, investment in the oil and gas sector and investment in construction and infrastructure development, food and hospitality, healthcare services and children's education.

"Apart from this we have also proposed to the government to develop Manus as an international free trade zone.

"Prime Minister Peter O'Neill and all political leaders and Manus community welcomed our intention towards the development of the province.

"Our investment plans would be towards all the provinces of Papua New Guinea."

Local MP Ronnie Knight hosted a group from AWAL, which arrived in the province last weekend.

Knight confirmed the company was exploring investment opportunities in the province if it was turned into a free trade zone.

He told local media the multinational company planned to establish major port facilities for customs and quarantine checks on all sea vessels bringing goods into PNG.

The company's website states AWAL is a holding company and investment house with a significant presence in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and North America, which is "primarily focused on generating extraordinary returns across a range of investment choices".

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