Saturday, December 07, 2019

PM Marape: More local participation in mining and petroleum

Prime Minister James Marape has emphasised the importance of local participation in mining and petroleum projects in the country.

Prime Minister Marape addressing the Mining and Petroleum Conference

He said this on Tuesday when addressing the PNG Mining and Petroleum Conference at the Stanley Hotel in Port Moresby.

“I think it is about time that we define what local content is,” Prime Minister Marape told a full house crowd.

“Our country has the capacity to ensure that our citizens participate in majority of the spinoffs taking place in this industry.

“If Government and the sector can sit down and better define what is local content, in my view that can also be encapsulated and properly defined, if not in agreement then in policy.

“This is borne from the experience of many of our projects in the past.

“We want to create sustainable businesses that go past oil and gas, go past construction phase, and go past the boom cycles of mining and gas in our country.”

Prime Minister Marape assured industry players that the Government would work hard to ensure that they were given proper support.

“We know discussions on many resource projects like P’nyang, Porgera, and Waffi are going on as we speak,” he said.

“Sometimes, I’m being sensitive to the timeliness in which we conduct these discussions, but here in Papua New Guinea you have to have all the groundwork and dots ticked off, right from the start.

“We’re trying to find the right balance so that we are not stepping on each other’s toes as we go into the future.

“Our Government, whilst preparing for these projects, is now seeking investment in a big way.

“The Budget that was handed down by our Treasurer last Thursday shows significant investment in enabling infrastructure.

“This time 10 years from now, I want to drive from Lae to Port Moresby, I want to drive all the way from Lae to Vanimo, we want to drive from Kerema all the way to Alotau, cross over from Popondetta to Port Moresby.

“We want an enabling electricity network that runs parallel with these.

“We want to open up economic corridors.

“Ten years from now, I look forward to a country with a better environment, and not a country of third-world status as we are today, and not a country that is heavily dependent on the industry to subsidise social services and infrastructure building.

“That is Government’s role.

“We will do our absolute best to ensure enabling infrastructure is built, whilst at the same time shifting our people into sustainable industries, more so in agriculture and other industries.

“I look forward to you in the mining and petroleum sectors giving greater participation to our landowner companies to participate more freely and better in businesses."

Prime Minister Marape acknowledged that several landowner flagship companies had grown because of the support of the mining and petroleum sector.

"If I can be a bit greedy here, I want more of these sort of companies to develop from resources on land that is theirs," he said.

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