Monday 20 June, 2016

Creating an avenue for opportunities

Creating an avenue for opportunities

THE 32nd Australia and Papua New Guinea Business Forum and Trade Expo was recently held in Cairns with the theme “Today’s Investments: Tomorrow’s returns.”

In an interview leading up to the forum, Australia - Papua New Guinea Business Council president Greg Pawson said that choosing this year’s theme was intended to drive a business investment focus.  

 “We thought it was appropriate for that in light of some of the economic challenges that Papua New Guinea is facing at the moment. We thought it was important to send a very clear message that the country is still very much open for business,” he said.

He said that the PNG Government is encouraging investment and Papua New Guinea is still a great country to invest in.

The forum focussed on enablers for business investment to drive economic growth, including private sector engagement, public service capacity and efficiency, and workforce and community health.

The forum saw an economic update from the Bank of Papua New Guinea supported by presentations from the resources sector and financial institutions. Breakout sessions covered infrastructure, women in the workplace, social challenges and their effect on businesses looking to successfully invest in PNG.

The forum featured a Trade Expo, giving Australian and Papua New Guinean companies an opportunity to showcase their goods and services as well as broaden their business relationships. The expo was the largest to date with 47 companies participating.

Nasfund’s participation in the Expo was reflective of its leading role in superannuation services for the private sector. Providing a vehicle for the only significant savings for much of the private sector workforce in Papua New Guinea, the FUND focuses on fostering a savings culture for the long term, including developing products for those who fall outside compulsory superannuation coverage.

The Eda Supa voluntary superannuation product now has a membership of over 32,000 individuals around Papua New Guinea and growing.

It is a fact that a growing number of Papua New Guineans are moving overseas to pursue career and business opportunities, particularly to Australia. The expo was an opportunity to create awareness that avenues exist for those individuals to maintain their superannuation savings through EDA Supa, using a number of facilities to make contributions at their own convenience.

The FUND used the forum to detail its role in providing superannuation services to a membership base of more than 530,000 members, with over 2,300 employers actively making superannuation contributions on behalf of their workers.

Networking with other business houses during the expo also provided an opportunity for officers to gain exposure to trade and business relations at an international level.

Overall the forum, with its engaging workshops and trade expo, presented an unparalleled opportunity for delegates to uncover business opportunities and network with senior Papua New Guinean policy makers and business leaders.

Photo caption: (From left - right): CEO - Air Niugini Limited, Simon Foo; Chairman - Air Niugini Limited, Sir Frederick Reiher, KCMG, KBE and Nasfund CEO, Ian Tarutia, OBE who visited the  NASFUND booth at the exihibition.

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