By Melissa Fairi

FROM 4–18 July 2015, Port Moresby will play host to 4,000 elite athletes and officials, 3,000 volunteers, 200 media and thousands of visitors.

The PNG 2015 Pacific Games Organising Committee Chief Executive Officer, Peter Stewart said, “this will be the biggest multi-sport and cultural event to be ever held in the history of PNG. This is more than just about the sports, it is about the country, the culture and creating long-term legacies for the games.”

It will create a valuable stage for PNG to generate interest and halo of pride and prestige for its citizens, economy, businesses and tourism.

The Games itself is almost an extended commercial and media opportunity that has the potential to raise and create value for PNG.

Already the Games has had an impact on the country in some aspects by being a catalyst for infrastructure development, economy, capacity building for human resource and local businesses.

It has seen the development of world class sporting venues that will be available for use by the people of PNG for decades to come.

“These facilities will not only provide excellent training and competition venues that will allow PNG athletes to prepare to complete on the global stage in the future but will allow the country to attract other major sporting, cultural and business events,” said Mr Stewart.

It will increase awareness and level of sport participation, growth and new opportunities. It will enable increase in tourism numbers and national profile in the media.

It will also be a great platform to showcase PNG’s diverse art and culture.

The Games will combine the excitement of broadcasting athletic events with an unparalleled showcase of the performing and visual arts and crafts of Port Moresby, PNG and the nations of the South Pacific.

It will promote cross-cultural awareness and understanding and provide an extraordinary opportunity to share the rich traditional and contemporary artistic expression of the region.

The event itself has already provided employment opportunity for more than 100 Papua New Guineans with over K3 million going back into the economy in the form of staff salaries.

By the end of the Games, these calibre of workforce will have the capability and capacity to run big events in the future with the amount of exposure and experience they are acquiring from this event.

The Games has also created spin off business benefits for more than 200 local companies with K138 million already contracted to these companies.

This has also provided opportunity for the local businesses to build their workforce and expertise capacity while facilitating greater business to business relationships.

About 160 million will be spent by the GOC by the end of the Games in addition to the K1 billion being spent by Government on Infrastructure projects, which means more money back into the PNG economy.

In excess of 1,500 hours of broadcast material will be produced by the Games organising Committee for distribution throughout the world across television, satellite, cable, internet and digital phone networks.

This is the largest broadcast in the history of the Pacific Games and will ensure positive images of Papua New Guinea are projected.

Mr Stewart said, “While the pictures and stories of the Games are important in changing the perceptions of the broader community, the fact that such a large scale production can be delivered tells businesses that PNG has the technological capability and communication infrastructure to support global corporations.”

The government has invested a lot in this event with the vision of long term benefit for the country and its citizens. The Games Organising Committee is working hard to ensure that it delivers on its part to make this event a success and leave a lasting legacy for the Games for many years to come.