Sime deal a vote of confidence, says PM

SIME DARBY’s acquisition of New Britain Palm Oil has been described as a vote of confidence in Papua New Guinea’s economy by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

In an announcement welcoming the move, O'Neill said the government would continue to create an investment environment that would attract regional and global companies into PNG.

"This acquisition is major boost for our agriculture sector, and the economy," PM

O'Neill said.

"Through its expansion plans, Sime Darby will create more jobs and spin off business opportunities for our people in Milne Bay, West New Britain and Morobe, where the assets are located."

He also said the PNG government was considering the possibility of buying a 30% stake in Sime Darby, as the company has been de-listed and was now in private hands.

O'Neill said he hoped public-private partnership would advance PNG's agriculture sector and benefit the people.

"Just as we have done with our oil and gas assets, our people must also own, and have a say in, the development of our agriculture sector," he said.

"Agriculture is where our future lies and the majority of our people live and participate in this sector.

"In Sime Darby we have secured a partner with global experience and expertise to help us develop this sector.

"I'm pleased that they have agreed to enter out market on terms that will be beneficial to their business and promote our national interest."

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