In Sydney: PM discusses PNG’s future in the region


PNG’s Prime Minister Hon. James Marape addressed the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia on Thursday 25 July, 2019, discussing PNG’s future in the region.

Here’s a PNGBUZZ roundup of the key points covered during his talk;

  • PM Marape stated that in order for PNG to achieve full economic independence, there needs to be change in the PNG mindset as well as the mindset of investors.
  • PNG must no longer be an aid recipient, but rather strive to be an economic powerhouse, harnessing its blessing of natural resources.
  • Marape said in 10 years he wants PNG to be an equal partner in security in the region.
  • PM Marape felt our relationship with Australia was our most important bilateral relationship, hence deliberately chosing to visit Australia as his first official visit.
  • PNG has achieved great success, however he stressed that the new generation of leaders demand a change of course for the benefit of our future.
  • PNG, being at the crossroads with many failures and a few successes in between, needs to open a new book.
  • For too long, external forces have been allowed to dictate the direction PNG takes. Change in PNG is needed.
  • PNG needs to ensure fair distribution of PNG’s economic resources by working with responsive economic partners.
  • PM pointed out that PNG is a country where all it’s citizens own a piece of land somewhere and there is a need to link this to smart business practice.
  • Marape’s key focus is to enable the independent commission against corruption.
  • PM stated that he intends to reform the public service, and will be an ongoing process.
  • All 22 PNG provinces need to be given the power to decide their own destiny.
  • A moratorium on round log exports is proposed from 2020.
  • Resource project agreements must be comply with PNG laws. Laws will be reviewed to ensure modern resources needs are reflected.
  • PM stressed the importance of local participation, which ensures projects in PNG succeed.
  • Finding the right balance in foreign investment is the way forward for PNG.
  • With regard to wanting to be richest black Christian nation – it is about the how rather than being about race or religion.
  • After 44 years of independence PNG is not a failed state. It’s time for a new book.
  • PM envisaged an economy that is more rural and based on agriculture.
  • PM pointed out that there are 3 billion people in Asia who need a cup of coffee and a meal of rice. Marape does not want PNG to be known as an oil and gas country, rather as the food bowl of Asia.
  • PNG has 6-7 percent of the worlds biodiversity and preserving that is important. PNG risks losing it’s global heritage in the haste for translating resources to cash. It’s the most responsible thing PNG can contribute to the world said Marape.
  • Marape concluded by stating that there is change coming for PNG, and acknowledged a growing generation of highly educated Papua New Guineans coming through.
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