The Australian Government has granted Papua New Guinea AU$580 million to rebuild and upgrade its ports (roughly K1.48 billion). The State Enterprise Minister, William Duma, stated K66.4 million was already earmarked for Kavieng Port.

The New Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, Nolis Thomas, said the initiative would create local jobs and boost New Ireland’s export earnings.

Mr Thomas said, “Just by having the project here will provide employment for people in the province. In the long run, the possibility of increasing the export of other products, mainly marine, will increase. That’s been talked about, but how much will come to reality is something that we will wait and see.

“But it will increase the possibility of exporting other goods. We have oil palm, which is one of the main cash crops. So, oil palm, logging and fisheries will be boosted and return a little for the province in overseas currencies,” he said.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape signed the agreement in a virtual ceremony. Mr Morrison said the agreement was designed to ensure PNG’s independence, sovereignty, and self-sufficiency.

Papua New Guinea’s ports had all originally been developed by the Australian colonial authority in the 1960s and 1970s.