April 2014

Total Oil joins Oil Search for PNG’s LNG # 2

Davendra Sharma

With less than three months of wait left before Papua New Guinea rolls out exports from its US419.12 billion (Kina 52.16 billion) LNG project, Peter O’Neill’s Government has given thumps up for a second such plant involving Australian and French interests. Australia’s Oil Search and Paris-based Total Oil sealed a ...

BSP posts US$147m profit

Sam Vulum

Bank South Pacific, the largest bank in Papua New Guinea and the South Pacific has announced more than K400 million (USD147m) in net profit for the 2013 financial year. The BSP Group achieved a consolidated operating profit before tax of US$223.5m for the 2013 financial year an 11.3% increase on ...

Closing down loopholes, G20 targets tax havens

Davendra Sharma

Pacific island countries with legitimate tax-haven status like the Cook Islands and Vanuatu risk being isolated and dealt with under new radical plan to force governments and their agencies to reveal details of non-residents hiding stashes of cash in their countries.

PNA decisions painful but necessary

Giff Johnson
Mon 17 Mar 2014 -

We should be so lucky to have the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) having such problems like this—what to do with US$93 million and how to distribute this pot of money resulting from last year’s successful conclusion of negotiations with the U.S. government and its tuna industry? This is ...

February 2014

Yazaki Samoa cuts working hours

Merita Huch

The weekly 40 working hours for some 800 Yazaki Samoa factory workers will be reduced starting February to 32 hours.

PM confident Samoa will do well after LDC

Merita Huch

New Year’s Day 2014 will be remembered as the day that Samoa left the group of countries considered the least developed in the world.

Low copra prices prompts Karkar’s bio-fuel diesel

Sam Vulum

The plummeting world copra prices has forced copra plantation owners to look for other avenues to raise the value of their copra.

Good news for the Pacific in terms of EU funding

Robert Matau

The Pacific should consider itself lucky. It is not amongst the 19 countries that will suffer aid cuts under the European Union’s new international aid initiatives.

Brazil coffee oversupply to hit PNG/Vanuatu

Davendra Sharma

As global supply exceeds demand for coffee for a fourth straight year, small world producers like Papua New Guinea and to lesser extent Vanuatu will feel the pinch of exports dwindling in 2014 in the US$70 billion world market.

Cobalt in Cooks awaits exploitation

Dionisia Tabureguci

This year could be a defining year for seabed minerals in Cook Islands.

January 2014

Courts can’t take Cooks trusts to court

Davendra Sharma

New reports emerged in Washington last month with claims that Cook Islands is hiding millions possibly billions in monies secretly moved there by foreign trusts. A prominent United States financial investment lawyer was quoted by the respected New York Times suggesting that real estate developers, healthcare providers, accountants, architects to ...

Holden pulls plug, hits Samoa exports

Davendra Sharma

As Australia’s car manufacturing took a new twist last month with the announcement of an imminent closure of Holden brand name from 2017, shivers were being sent through to Samoa where a parts manufacturer was weighing up its chances of survival.

Fiji Airways to expand partnership with Qantas

Fiji Airways is looking to expand its partnership with Qantas to include codeshared flights but sees no value in joining any of the airline alliance families such as Oneworld, Star Alliance and SkyTeam. Qantas holds a 46 percent stake in the Fijian carrier and the two airlines currently operate a ...

PACPs firm on ‘variable geometry’ stand

Dionisia Tabureguci

The Pacific trade bloc of the African CARIBbean and Pacific (PACP) is expected to maintain its “variable geometry” stand when it returns to negotiations with the European Union for an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) this year.

December 2013

$500m cost to Fiji of domestic violence

Estimating the costs of gender-based violence is vital as it brings to light the hidden costs to society and the resources needed to end violence.

Banks go branchless to reach the unbanked

Michael Hutak

It might be the woman market stall holder in a city like Port Moresby, who needs security for her daily takings, or the rural Solomon Islands school teacher who must spend up to half his wage in boat fuel travelling to a bank to collect his pay. Both could use ...

The cost of climate change in the Pacific

Dr. Xianbin Yao & Dr. Cyn-Young Park

ADB’s new ‘The Economics of Climate Change in the Pacific’ report estimates the range of potential economic impacts of climate change for specific sectors and economies of the region under various emissions scenarios. The study covers all of ADB’s Pacific developing member countries, but specific results are presented in the ...

November 2013

CNMI tourism on the rebound

Haidee V. Eugenio

Ronald Nicolas, 43, lost his full-time job asa mason about two years ago and has since been working part-time earning only US$200 on a good month. But everything is about to change once again for Nicolas and many others like him who are either underemployed or unemployed in the Northern ...

PNG and the Asian Century

Rowan Callick

The view over Port Moresby’s beautiful, deep-water Fairfax Harbour from Deloitte Tower speaks volumes about Papua New Guinea’s immense potential. Below are ranks of new tower blocks, almost all built and owned by two superfunds and Steamships, the local arm of the venerable Hong Kong-based Swire conglomerate.

October 2013

The frontline tuna guardians

Robert Matau

When Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) observer Chris Ragi (not his real name) boarded a tuna purse seiner fishing boat for the first time in 2009, he did not know what to expect.

Ok Tedi natonalisation, biggest ever legal challenge?

Rowan Callick

The Papua New Guinea government on September 18 nationalised through parliament the vast Ok Tedi copper-gold mine by 62 votes to none—a move which is expected to trigger the country’s biggest ever legal challenge.

Fiji TV to shed PNG shares

Samisoni Pareti

Fiji’s largest commercial television is to shed its majority shares in Papua New Guinea’s number one television company EMTV, as Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s government moves to introduce new media ownership legislation.

September 2013

Non-mineral exports rise, mineral exports falling

Rowan Callick

Cairns international air terminal in Queensland had on a typical day recently, three check-in counters open: one for Port Moresby, one for Moro, the gas-and-oil hub in Papua New Guinea’s Southern Highlands, and one named Newcrest—for the fly in-fly out workers heading towards its Lihir mine, also in PNG.

From bankruptcy filing to settlement deal

Haidee Eugenio

Over a year after the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Retirement Fund became the first public pension agency on American soil to file for bankruptcy on April 17, 2012 but was later dismissed, it is once again on the spotlight.

August 2013

PNG coffee in crisis

John Fowke*

Many people of long experience in PNG’s coffee industry are very concerned at the decline in annual yield. Following a 20-year period where PNG shipped an annual average of 1 million export bags, there is a definite decline in production.