LAE WILL play host to the 31st Australia Papua New Guinea Business Forum in mid-May – the first time the annual conference will take place in the city.

Held jointly by the Business Council of Papua New Guinea and the Australia Papua New Guinea Business Council, the Forum is well established as the major bilateral business meeting between the two nations.

With a theme of “Bridging the Gap: Meeting Expectations”, the Forum will look at the opportunity PNG currently has to turn the economic value of today’s resources boom into prosperity for all its people.

The event is also set to build on the work both business councils have done in growing a bilateral business relationship.

Key government ministers from Australia and Papua New Guinea, and a range of other expert speakers, have been invited to address the Forum to inform business representatives of policy issues relevant to business.

Confirmed speakers include Australian Trade Minister Andrew Robb, PNG Minister for National Planning and Development Charles Abel, PNG Secretary for Treasury Dairi Vele and Lowy Institute program director Jenny Hayward Jones.

The program for the Forum includes an overview of the political and economic climate, especially issues which effect business and investment, and will include specific sessions by expert presenters on doing business in PNG.

Among the topics to be discussed are Closing the Gap, Social Development is Everybody’s Business, New Horizon, Emerging Leaders and an Investment update.

There will be an opportunity for delegates to engage in lively interaction with presenters in most sessions including in smaller work groups.

The Forum will again feature a Trade Expo for Australian and Papua New Guinean companies wishing to use the opportunity to market their goods and services to clients and purchasers in each country, and to broaden their business relationships.

Participants will have an unparalleled opportunity to learn about business opportunities in Papua New Guinea, and to network with senior Australia and Papua New Guinea based policy makers and senior businessmen and women.

The event will be held at the Lae International Hotel Conference Centre in Lae from 17 to 19 May 2015.