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Singapore delegation latest in wave of foreign traders

By Travertz Mabone PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, April 20, 2011) - Papua New Guinea is fast becoming a major attraction for investment from various countries with recent interest shown from Singapore yesterday when a high profiled business delegation visited the Investment Promotion Authority during their fact-finding mission.

The trade delegation of 19 business leaders from 11 Singaporean companies is on a mission in search of possible opportunities in the areas of port or marine services, hardware supplies, power generation services, engineering and construction consultancy services, etc. with appointments made with relevant private organizations to have those meetings.

For the high profiled Singaporean business delegation, yesterday was an opportune time to visit IPA who is the country’s main body in promoting and facilitating investment in the country.

A member of the Singaporean delegation, the deputy CEO of the International Enterprise Singapore Chua Taik Him, stated that this was the first time that Singapore had a more comprehensive look at PNG and he and the team of delegates from various business backgrounds in Singapore will look to establish contact and begin rapport regarding potential investment interests.

He also stated that the group is looking at various investment opportunities and looks to get into infrastructural development, industry, oil and gas, logistics, energy, etc. and PNG has a lot of possible business ventures that have shown investment attraction.

Chua ensured that: "We are not only here to see but to bring along some concrete investment as well and I’m sure the delegation have their interests in mind."

The Minister of the Commerce and Industry Gabriel Kapris said that the country is experiencing unprecedented economic growth predicted to be around 7 percent and may continue to grow for the next 3-5 years and with the political stability for the last nine years, this preconditions have enabled large foreign investor confidence hence the major developments in the country.

He told the delegation that the government welcomes foreign investors and supports investments directly and indirectly and the government is very much aware that there is a lack of capacity in many facets of business in the country, nonetheless it encourages foreign investors initial to consider developing the local business by sourcing locally and if not available then look abroad.

"It is my wish that your mission will find an opportunity that meets your business interest but similarly I also wish to recommend joint venture partnership with local PNG companies whether they be through State owned entities or local PNG companies as I am of a firm view that such partnerships will have some competitive advantages coupled with your very own expertise, skills, technology and finance," Mr. Kapris said.

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