Australian Business Delegation To Explore Business Opportunities In Bougainville

Mineral exploration, agriculture, tourism and fisheries investment being looked at

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, Sept. 10, 2016) – An Australian business delegation will travel to the autonomous region of Bougainville next month to check out business opportunities.

The Far North Queensland’s Cairns Chamber of Commerce will partner with Tradelinked Cairns & PNG and lead a delegation to the island from October 18-23.

Sectors that will come under the spotlight during the six-day visit are supplying goods and services to the exploration of minerals, plantation agriculture, tourism and fisheries.

The Australian High Commission in Port Moresby has also identified opportunities in product and process innovations in existing agricultural value chains; introducing new agricultural commodities for export and domestic consumption; farming high value fish and beche de mere in the 3-mile limit of Bougainvillean waters; cold chain development for the export of marine products; goods and services to plantation agriculture; off-grid power and other processing equipment for the booming artisanal mining sector; supplying the possible resumption of mining exploration;  and training opportunities in agricultural value chains amongst other things.

The autonomous region has a population of around 240,000 and gross domestic product estimated at K1 billion [US$304 million]in 2014. The region is benefitting from a stable political environment and peace has returned.

The recent launch of the Buka Town Tourism Development Plan Initiative 2016-2020 outlines a major aim to develop Buka town as a tourism hub in the region.

The visit by the Australian business delegation is believed to be the first of its kind to the region after the end of the Bougainville Crisis, which claimed thousands of lives when the traditional landowners of the new defunct Bougainville copper mine took up arms against the PNG Government.

Australian assistance to the rehabilitation and stability of the region currently stands at about $A50 million (approximately K115 million) [US$37.7 million] according to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Its assistance is delivered through PNG National Government programs and focuses on the health, education, transport infrastructure and the law and justice sectors.

PNG Post-Courier
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