Quick Links

If your business does business with Papua New Guinea, you can’t afford to miss this respected international event.

 

Program 2024

Find out what is happening and when

Our expertly-curated 2024 program focused on those sectors with the most growth potential in Papua New Guinea.

The provisional program of the 2024 Business Advantage Papua New Guinea Investment Conference. NB This program is subject to change without notice.

Monday 12 August 2024

1. Welcome to delegates

  • His Excellency John Mao Kali, PNG’s High Commissioner to Australia

The conference will commence at 9.00am.

 

2. Official opening address  

  • The Hon. James Marape MP, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea*

 

3. Keynote address: Chris Riddell, Futurist

Former Chief Digital Officer at Mars, Chris is a recognised trend spotter, frequent media commentator, and digital expert with unparalleled insights into emerging trends and human behaviour.

The fast-changing post-COVID is chaotic and, in Chris view, that chaos isn’t going away. So, how do business leaders formulate their strategies and provide leadership in such an environment?

Chris will provide his insights on exactly how this can be done and how we can seize the opportunities that change is going to bring us.

This obsession with the future—and ‘the now’ that shapes it—has powered Chris’ thinking, and his career, for 15 years. Having lived across the globe and working for some of the largest and influential businesses and brands on the planet, Chris has honed his ability to spot and track global patterns and unlocking opportunities in the increasingly disrupted digital world we live in. 

Chris has also been Global Futures Ambassador for the Australian Federal Police and is currently resident Global Affairs and Technology Expert for Australia’s Channel Seven television network. 

 

Morning tea  

 

4. Economic Update on PNG

PNG is currently undergoing a program of economic reform, supported by a program from the International Monetary Fund. During this session, we’ll hear an update on the current state of its economy, the prospects for growth, and the key elements of the planned reforms, which will involve key changes to the foreign exchange regime.

  • Sohrab Rafiq, Country Manager, International Monetary Fund 
  • Elizabeth Genia, Governor, Bank of Papua New Guinea*

 

5. LNG and beyond

With PNG entering its second LNG decade, the head of PNG’s national petroleum company, Kumul Petroleum Holdings will discuss what to expect in coming years, PNG’s fuel security challenge, and the prospects for changes to the sectors’ regulatory framework. We will also learn of related plans to develop a complementary onshore petrochemical processing and fabrication sector.

In addition, the head of Twinza Oil will outline the progress of the US$1.5 billion Pasca A project, which looks set to become PNG’s first offshore gas field, and consider the potential of this new sector.

  • Wapu Sonk, Managing Director, Kumul Petroleum Holdings* in conversation
  • Stephen Quantrill, Executive Chairman, Twinza Oil

 

Networking lunch 

 

6. PNG and global trade and investment trends

The head of Australia’s trade and investment agency will provide his personal take on the global and regional trends that will affect trade and investment in PNG in the coming decade.

  • Xavier Simonet, CEO, Australian Trade Commission*

 

7. Papua New Guinea’s investment climate (Interactive panel) 

A panel of experts will discuss the key features of PNG’s prevailing investment climate. 

 

8. Papua New Guinea’s mining outlook 

 The Kainantu gold mine in PNG’s Eastern Highlands has been transformed in recent years into a major producing mine, thanks to investment from Canada’s K92 Mining. CEO John Lewins shares his insights into how this transformation is being achieved. Meanwhile, the head of PNG’s state-owned mining company, Kumul Minerals Holdings will speak on its ambitious plans to encourage the development of the sector and partner with the private sector. 

  • John Lewins, CEO, K92 Mining 
  • Saruman Kanu, Managing Director, Kumul Minerals Holdings 

 

Afternoon mini break 

 

9. ESG and responsible investment

Global investment parameters have changed markedly in the past five years. This session will look at both the changes and the opportunities investors now have to understand to finance their projects successfully in PNG.

  • Geri McMahon, Global Head of ESG, Asset Management Sector, KPMG Australia

 

10. Fireside chat: Building, construction and hospitality

When Cypriot emigré George (later Sir George) Constantinou, started a welding business in Port Moresby in 1954, he could hardly have imagined where the business would end up. Seventy years later, the Constantinou Group is one of PNG’s most dynamic and successful companies, with businesses in building and construction, hospitality and property. 

  • George Constantinou, CEO, Constantinou Group of Companies, in conversation with Andrew Wilkins, Publishing Director and Co-founder, Business Advantage International 

 

11. Mergers and acquisitions in PNG: what every investor needs to know  

As well as monitoring the prices of key products and services, PNG’s Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) plays a key role in ensuring business follows the rules in mergers and acquisitions (for instance, it was responsible for approving Newmont Corporation’s recent acquisition of Newcrest Mining). Its head will outline the key elements of PNG’s M&A regime.

  • Paulus Ain, Commissioner, Independent Consumer and Competition Commission

 

12. Networking drinks 

 

13. Gala Dinner 

This year’s Gala Dinner will take place at The Rooftop, Level 12 at Rydges South Bank Brisbane (adjacent to the conference venue).

 

Day 2: Tuesday 13 August 

 NB Day Two will finish at 2pm.

 

1. Keynote: PNG’s cybersecurity challenge: what every director should know 

This is one session no CEO or board member can afford to miss. KPMG Australia’s leading cybersecurity expert will outline the business risks of cyber crime, based on the latest data and trends, and set out what companies need to put in replace to minimise risk. 

  • Matt Dri, Partner, Cyber Response & Forensic Technology, KPMG Australia 

 

2. PNG’s telecommunications roadmap 

The digitisation of PNG’s economy is increasing rapidly on the back of a major expansion of telecommunications networks across the country. In this session, the key players behind the expansion will outline what the market can expect in coming years. 

  • Pradeep Lal, CEO, Vodafone PNG 
  • Paul Komboi, CEO, PNG Dataco 

 

3. Investment case study: property

Mineral Resources Development Corporation (MRDC) is the government entity which receives and manages royalties from resources projects on behalf of PNG’s landowners. As such, it has diverse investments across aviation, hospitality, property and agriculture, including the signature Star Mountain Plaza development in Port Moresby. Managing Director Augustine Mano will outline MRDC’s vision and its approach to leveraging private sector investment.

  • Augustine Mano, Managing Director, Mineral Resources Development Corporation*

  

Morning tea

 

 4. A Tale of Two Cities: Port Moresby and Lae

While Port Moresby is PNG’s administrative hub, its manufacturing and logistics hub is Lae, which is not only the main port servicing PNG’s populous Highlands region but, increasingly, an important transhipment hub for the Pacific Islands. In a ‘rematch’ from our 2019 conference, the presidents of the two cities’ business chambers will talk about what makes each city unique, how they complement each other, and the business environments in both.

  • Rio Fiocco, President, Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • John Byrne, President, Lae Chamber of Commerce

 

5. Investment case study: finance

Credit Corporation has a long and successful history as a licenced finance institution in PNG and the Pacific. Recently, it has taken the first steps towards becoming a fully-fledged bank. CEO Danny Robinson will outline the company’s vision for increasing competition in PNG’s banking sector. 

 

6. Financing PNG’s infrastructure investment pipeline 

Some of the key international agencies supporting the development of infrastructure in PNG outline their criteria for lending to the private sector. Speakers include:

 

7. Investment Case study: manufacturing 

 

8. PNG’s state-owned enterprises 

We look at the plans to transform PNG’s state-owned enterprises and involve the private sector in the commercialisation of some of PNG’s state assets, including the site of Port Moresby original port. Speakers will include: 

 

9. Investment case study: tourism 

Overlooking Port Moresby’s picturesque Ela Beach and old port, the transformative Paga Hill development is an ambitious attempt to create a cruise ship and tourism destination in PNG’s capital. Chairman of Paga Hill Development Company, Gummi Fridriksson, will provide an update on this major project, already slated to be the site of PNG’s first Radisson Blu resort and casino. 

  • Gummi Fridriksson, Chairman, Paga Hill Development Company

 

1.00pm–2.00pm Closing remarks and networking lunch

* invited