The Papua New Guinea Business Summit 2017 was held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on August 22-23.This summit has been run by the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce CEO David Conn for several years. Pacific Trade Invest New Zealand, Australia and China have routinely had engagement at this forum.
Given recent elections in PNG and the commercial stabilisation of the PNG economy, PTI believes this is an important regional forum.
About 150 exhibitors and delegates attended the two-day conference which kicked off with formal welcomes from Mr Conn, Sir Sakias Tameo, PNG’s High Commissioner to Australia and Brisbane Councillor Angela Owen who delivered her address on behalf of the Lord Mayor of Brisbane. The keynote address was delivered by Dr Simon Baptist, the Global Chief Economist and Economic Intelligence Unit for Asia of The Economist magazine.
Many of the speakers touched upon the vision for Port Moresby as a city in the next five years including National Capital Region Governor Powes Parkop and a number of local and international developers who presented their existing plans for development in the city.
The afternoon session on Day One featured the role of Queensland and PNG including the role of sport in fostering friendly ties between them. Young entrepreneurs presented themes on nation building. The summit’s gala dinner featured Damien Thomlinson, an inspirational veteran of the war in Afghanistan who suffered horrendous injuries resulting in the amputation of both his legs.
He also covered his recent work with actor Mel Gibson in the film Hacksaw Ridge where he played the role of an officer who had lost both limbs in that particular engagement. He was interviewed by CNN news correspondent Cathy Novac, who has had significant engagement with PNG for a long time.
Day Two featured a serious and significant briefing on APEC 2018, which PNG is hosting. It also featured PTI China Trade & Investment Commissioner David Morris who presented on the Shenzhen sister city relationship with Port Moresby and covered the one belt-one road concept. Other sessions also focused on tourism and tourism infrastructure throughout PNG with emphasis on urban development in Port Moresby.
The programme concluded with several sectors detailing positive vision for the future of sectors like infrastructure, energy, ports and telecommunications.
Participants felt that the exhibition and forum were valuable to them given their focus on future thinking and Port Moresby as a future city in terms of regional significance in the Pacific.