Prime Minister James Marape has been promoting the idea that Papua New Guinea holds a strong strategic position in the food sector, especially concerning exporting goods to Asian countries. He has encouraged local businesses to embrace the possibilities of exporting foods to nearby markets.

The Prime Minister made his comments to PNG corporations at a business event co-sponsored by the Business Council of PNG and Kina Bank. He pointed out that Asian countries such as Indonesia, China, and the Philippines are likely to face food security issues in the near future. He said that Papua Guinean business could benefit by exporting local goods.

Marape gave an overview of PNG’s economy and discussed its prospects over the next five years. He noted the government’s efforts in the renewable sectors of agriculture, fisheries, and forestry and the move to downstream processing.

Papua New Guinea is relatively close to highly populated Asian economic regions, and many of them may soon face food shortages. The Prime Minister stressed the excellent potential this provides to local industries in the food production and supply sectors.

“I point Papua New Guinean businesses to this area of investment in agriculture business and the food industry. You have 110 million in the Philippines who are living on 300,000 square kilometres of land. They will have food security issues in the future. You have 270 million Indonesians. They will have food security in the future. You have more than K1.4 billion people in China,” Marape said.

According to Marape, Papua New Guinea already has strong bi-lateral connections with these countries, so there is already a solid foundation for business and trade. He encouraged companies to explore and develop the opportunities available to the food sector.

He added that the government welcomed collaborative partnerships and ventures and noted that despite some seemingly weak fundamentals, PNG’s democratic systems made it an excellent place to do business.

“Despite some seasonal economic fluctuations and seemingly weak economic fundamentals, PNG is blessed with a robust system of democracy where the three arms of government are separate,” Marape said.

“The Judiciary, for example, will function independently to safeguard all people in our country, including investors, to live within the law and agreement. This foundational tenet of our democracy makes Papua New Guinea a safe place for investment and business addresses.”