Opportunities abound: O'Neill

EUROPE offers an important market for Papua New Guinean agricultural produce and also provides opportunities in other sectors, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said during his visit to Brussels and Paris last week.
Opportunities abound: O'Neill Opportunities abound: O'Neill Opportunities abound: O'Neill Opportunities abound: O'Neill Opportunities abound: O'Neill

Speaking at a French Business Confederation breakfast, O'Neill said PNG could not afford to think Europe was "too far away to matter" and said Total was an example of a European company that recognised PNG's investment potential.

The French energy firm is the operator of the Elk-Antepole project, PNG's second LNG development.

"There is significant interest in Papua New Guinea from the business community in the cities our delegation visited, and we must convert that interest into tangible business engagement," he said.

"In my meeting with senior executives at Total SA, they reaffirmed their commitment to developing the third train of LNG in Papua New Guinea.

"Total is already employing Papua New Guineans and foreign workers and this number is expected to reach 10,000 at the peak of the construction project."

In attendance were representatives of 30 companies interested in initiating or expanding into PNG.

O'Neill also met with European Council president Donald Tusk to discuss European concerns about illegal fishing in PNG waters, saying both sides were "cooperating to achieve a positive outcome".

Another issue discussed was the visa arrangements of Papua New Guinean's entering the European Union.

Due to the interest generated at the UK-PNG Trade and Investment Forum and in France, O'Neill said future events would include London and Paris.

"Next year we are looking at the trade and investment forum being held in Paris and alternate this with London each year," he said.

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