PM to lead European trade mission

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill will lead a delegation of government and business representatives to Europe next week to promote Papua New Guinean trade and investment opportunities to potential investors.
PM to lead European trade mission PM to lead European trade mission PM to lead European trade mission PM to lead European trade mission PM to lead European trade mission

While in London, the trade mission will attend the inaugural UK-PNG Trade and Investment Forum scheduled for June 16 where speakers from both countries will discuss the opportunities present in the country's key sectors - resources and agriculture.

Event organisers Developing Markets Associates said it was PNG's "most significant outreach to investors in the northern hemisphere", with O'Neill saying it was the first time many people would have heard about the investment potential of PNG. He added that there was increasing interest from European and North American investors.

Perhaps further whetting investor appetite is the The Economist's view that PNG has a projected growth rate of 14.8% and is the fastest growing economy in the world.

O'Neill is scheduled to meet British Prime Minister David Cameron and Queen Elizabeth II before the forum.

"Sources for investment in PNG continue to expand beyond our traditional markets, particularly with LNG production and mining opportunities," he said.

"PNG offers investment potential with an expanding economy that is withstanding the impact of global economy challenges, and has a demonstrated stable political environment."

Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch and Trade and Commerce Minister Richard Maru will also speak at the event, with PNG businesses sharing their experiences with their European counterparts.

The trade mission will also head to Paris and meet with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and French Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Laurent Fabius before speaking with the senior management of Total - operator of the Elk Antelope project, and Puma Energy, at a business breakfast.

O'Neill hopes progress will be made regarding ongoing trade issues between PNG and the EU, but sees Europe as an expanding market for PNG products.

"We need to ensure that we progress these opportunities to increase investment in areas that include energy production, and expand trade through our fisheries, palm oil, agricultural and tourism industries," he said.

"These growing sectors employ millions of Papua New Guineans through direct and associated economic activity, and there is further room for expansion."

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