New Fiber will drop Internet Costs

By: Jonny Andrews
Papua New Guinea felt the pinch of congestion when Telikom Fiber in Madang went down again for the 2nd time in just many months on Saturday.
The PPC-1 link from Madang to Guam has 10Gbps capacity however, that link has been impossible to get to from Port Moresby.
From Tiare gateway, you would be routed on a microwave link to Mt Hagen, from Mt Hagen you will then go down to Lae and from Lae to Madang. That HCP Microwave link in itself has shown signs of being unreliable and that put furthur stress on existing Fiber link APNG2.
Since the break in PPC-1 Fiber in Madang, all international traffic are routed to APNG2. This has caused congestion and slow internet everywhere on Telikom Network.
Just before the break, DataCO and Telikom announced a new working relationship. This relationship is being investigated by ICCC.
One wonders why DataCO have for so long shied away from putting in a New Fiber Optic between Port Moresby and Australia. This would have solved the bottle-neck issue for Papua New Guinea and will significantly drop internet costs for users.
Acquiring of the New Fiber Optic Cable is no longer a must…it is now a NEED and all efforts must be made to make this possible.
PNGDataCo
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New Fiber Optic Cables pursued for PNG
 
Post-Courier – Thursday, June 8, 2017
BY MELISHA YAFOI
 
PNG Data Co is now firming up on one of its two options to connect PNG to the world using a new submarine cable to be built.
 
Managing director Paul Komboi said that the government has now reviewed previously preferred options including ICN-2 and have now tasked DataCo to provide two options that will be able to connect PNG from Port Moresby to Australia.
 
Mr Komboi said they are now pursuing a new cable option from Port Moresby down to Sydney, Australia.
 
“We currently do have an optical fibre submarine connection called the “APNG-2” submarine cable from Port Moresby to Sydney, but it’s very limited in capacity, expensive and very unreliable so that’s the problem and we need to fix that problem.”
 
“Our APNG-2 Submarine cable down to Sydney will reach its end of life very soon I think another two years or so is left for its operation and service. We need to replace this APNG-2 submarine cable before the cable stops operating. I think basically, it’s a requirement for PNG to have a new optical fibre submarine cable with modernized and futuristic technology and capability given the dynamic nature of the ICT sector and industry.
 
“It’s a necessity now for the country to have a cable connecting us to the the worldwide information network to allow for accessibility to information, markets and knowledge. Reliable, a lot of capacity; that is what we need,” he said.
 
By building this new optical fibre submarine cable, we will introduce modernized communication technology, which will enable us to lower the pricing of data services, provide super high capacity and speed, as well as proven reliability and better service quality to meet the country’s current and future demand.”
 
He added that it is an important infrastructure like electicity and water, and the government’s plans and decision to invest in this high-capital modernized infrastructure is not being ambitious but rather necessary”.
 
“It is a necessity for the government to invest in such infrastructure and so, all we need to do now is manage them effectively and efficiently for the benefit of our people and the whole latest restructure e is about better managing those high-cpatial modernized infrastructure assets of the state and people..
 
“We have firmed up on one of our options. We are going into details discussions, negotiations and plans now such as the arrangements for who will be the actual vendor to supply and install the cable and also firming up on pre-sales of the capacity on who will be using the new fibre optic submarine cable. We are expecting by mid-June to end of June to be able to make some joint announcements with our partners to be able to launch this project officially,” he said.
 
Mr Komboi affirms that there’s also been positive response from Australia to assist them with the lending arrangements, adding that the appetite to have a new optical fibre submarine cable between Port Moresby and Sydney is there but they are looking at who they should partner with and under what structure and terms.
 
“There are some things we are still discussing and negotiating at the moment at the background, and we are not yet at the liberty to share unless every party has agreed to the terms and conditions.
 
We are yet to give a name to this new project and will announce it once all the requirements are met and parties are in principle satisfied,” he said.
 
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Merger of Telikom PNG, PNG DataCo and bmobile may lead to lower costs, say analysts

11 Apr 2017 
by Kevin McQuillan 


IT analysts and industry insiders tell Business Advantage PNG that the Papua New Guinea Government’s decision to merge bmobile and PNG DataCo under a Telikom PNG renamed Kumul Telikom is likely to increase competition and innovation. But the move will not be without challenges.
The merger of bmobile and DataCo with Telikom PNG, outlined in our interview with Kumul Telikom Chairman Mahesh Patel last week, will realise cost savings and harness the synergies among the three telcos, according to Public Enterprises and State Investments Minister Charles Abel.
Local industry insiders appear generally optimistic about the move, with some caveats.

Independent, Port Moresby-based IT specialist Russell Woruba, of Taragai Advisory, believes the restructure will reduce prices, and observes telcos now need to provide attractive bundled services in order to be competitive.

Carriers must offer enterprises and customers not only voice and data, but media content, ICT services, such as cloud options, as well as professional services, he tells Business Advantage PNG.

He notes, however, that to modernise Telikom to meet the current technological climate it may be necessary to involve outside partners who have the skill set and capital.

He also observes that Digicel PNG not only has market share but undisputed market power.


‘It is now digging into Telikom’s core fixed business through its service offerings.

‘By consolidating its assets, Telikom, DataCo and bmobile can compete effectively and create synergies for operational efficiency.’
Masalai Communications’ IT specialist, Emmanuel Narokobi, sounds a note of caution about the restructure.

‘There is a huge cultural shift that needs to take place internally within all the organisations,’ he told Business Advantage PNG.

‘Personally, from our work with them we have tried to push shared services across the various companies but they still do not recognise the strategic benefits of such exercises.’


Reduced duplication

The merger is supported by a recent report issued by Singapore-based BMI Research, a subsidiary of the global ratings agency Fitch.

‘The transferring of the country’s main fixed-line and gateway assets into one entity, DataCo—which will provide backbone services and international connectivity to operators—will be positive for the market,’ says to the report’s author, Telecommunications Analyst Vanessa d’Alancon.

After DataCo’s plans to upgrade and run the National Transmission Network are completed, expected this year, she says internet service providers (ISPs) and businesses in Papua New Guinea will have access to wholesale capacity.

This will provide a boost to bandwidth and encourage market competition. That competition, she says, should reduce prices over the medium-term for consumers.


More competition for Digicel?

‘Telikom has already begun rolling out 4G at discounted rates in 2017 to encourage take-up and will be in a stronger position to compete with Digicel,’ says d’Alancon.

She warns, however, that it will be difficult for Telikom to take market share from Digicel given that operator’s strong presence in the mobile market. Digicel has been successful in the market since 2007 and has brought mobile penetration in PNG from 1.6 per cent in 2006 to around 45.5 per cent in 2016.

That said, there are still many areas where internet services are unavailable and most rural areas only have 2G services, providing significant growth opportunities.


Digicel’s view

Digicel’s CEO, Brett Goschen, told Business Advantage PNG that Digicel fully supports an environment where all operators have access to all forms of wholesale transmission capacity.
‘We believe it is fundamental to growing and improving a competitive, open market: prices decrease, service offerings increase and the consumer benefits tremendously.

‘It is clear that the Government’s original communication model involving the transfer of transmission assets to DataCo would go some way toward achieving that.’

That said, Goschen says, however, he is not convinced the new structure will achieve the original intentions of government, namely ‘to create a competitive, open communication industry that augurs growth and value, whilst encouraging innovation’. From the limited public information provided, he noted the new merger does not appear to promote competitive outcomes to the benefit of the consumer, such as reducing the cost of accessibility.

http://www.businessadvantagepng.com/analysts-say-more-competition-will-result-from-restructure-of-telikom-dataco-and-bmobile-but-digicel-unconvinced/

Kumul Telikom Holdings – Right Stepping stone for Papua New Guinea

By: Jonny Andrews

Telecommunications is the ‘Heart-beat’ of every thriving economy!

How does one disrupt and conquer a nation? They simply break down the communication between all important Government utilities and department. Put them into a state of confusion and slowly conquer and take control.

Sound familiar???

The advised Papua New Guinea has been getting in the past of ensuring competition and to separate the Telecommunication entity has been flawed! It has resulted in the State communications entity competing against itself and ensuring that the real competitor succeeds!

The birth of Kumul Telikom Holdings is the realization that we have lost the plot and the need to get back on track is imminent! Kumul Telikom Holdings is the ‘Stepping Stone’ on improving the Telecommunication system in the country. 

It provides for a SINGLE Board that ensures the DataCo, BMobile and Telikom Management works effectively, do no compete against each other and provides a roadmap that actually provides greater benefit to the country.

Well done PNG Government!


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Consolidation of SOEs right move: Barker

March 6, 2017The NationalMain Stories

 Article Views: 169

The recent consolidation of telecommunication State-owned enterprises under Kumul Telikom Holdings “is the right way forward”, according to Institute of National Affairs executive director Paul Barker.

Barker, pictured, told The National that this arrangement would be ideal if complemented with effective management that resulted in enhanced competition in the sector for the benefit of businesses and rural areas.

“Consolidation of the domestic network and linking the key gaps, notably the Northern network with the Hides-Port Moresby link, while rationalising the multitude of State-owned entities, is the right way forward, so long as the best professional board and capable, innovative but prudent management is in place,” he said.

“Operations also be accountable and transparent.

“Real rather than superficial competition is needed, but it’s not logical for that competition to be between ill-resourced State-owned entities but between a stronger, single telecommunications State-owned entity and the other players.

“Consideration of selling off or part sale of the State-owned entity may be considered to increase capitalisation and capacity but the State retains an important role in this space as regulator, encouraging and requiring competition, and ensuring priority services reach the wider communities of PNG, as well as enabling businesses across the country to function, including in rural areas.”

Barker highlighted the need to upgrade Government-owned telecommunication infrastructure with possible adjustments to increase bandwidth from submarine cables.
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MINISTER ABEL CLARIFIES THE KUMUL CONSOLIDATION AGENDA
Wednesday February 22, 2017 –Minister for National Planning, and Acting Minister for Public Enterprises and State Investments   Hon. Charles Abel today called a media conference to clarify the Government’s main policy priorities through the Kumul Consolidation Agenda.

Minister Abel stated:

* At the outset, our focus should be on ensuring that all relevant boards and MDs/CEOs of the SOEs are in place and addressing all operational issues;

* The government’s overarching objective is to progress the social and economic well-being of the citizens of Papua New Guinea;

* This includes promoting an efficient enabling environment (policies, regulations and legislations) for private sector as the primary generator of wealth and job creation to flourish;

* Government generally only intervenes in the private sector as an active participant when private capital or entities will not and the particular service is vital or strategic;

* The Kumul Consolidation Agenda is intended to improve synergy, coordination and efficiency to the National Government’s participation in commercial activities;

* This includes the aggregating of related Government companies in different sectors such as Telecommunication, energy, agriculture, etc;

* The Department of Public Enterprises is to provide policy development and oversight in concert with the Minister and Cabinet. It is not to get involved in project development. Any such projects are to be handed over to the relevant subsidiary companies or ceased;

* KCH is to oversee the implementation of government policy through the respective subsidiary companies including the most appropriate corporate structuring in relation to the non-mining & petroleum related majority owned government companies;

* This government policy includes capital structuring to involve private capital and management as much as possible;

* KCH should cease developing numerous business projects and only get involved in project development for large scale strategic capital projects on behalf of the sector specific subsidiaries;

* All government companies should generate an adequate return of capital; and

* All government companies should be restructured in order to free up resources and introduce efficiency into the economy unless there is a particular strategic interest or private capital cannot be attracted.

In closing Minister Abel said that KCH needs to regroup and refocus on the job ahead and he was confident that it has a solid foundation of sound corporate governance that would expose and address weaknesses, and identify opportunities if and when they arose.

“I have assumed the role of caretaker Minister of this important Ministry with only two months before the National Elections.”

“In that short period of time I intend to create focus and clarity, and highlight the synergy between National Planning and the three entities – Kumul Consolidated Holdings, Kumul Minerals and Kumul Petroleum.”
Sources:

http://www.thenational.com.pg/consolidation-soes-right-move-barker/

http://www.kch.com.pg/minister-clarifies-consolidation/

Can Social Media Transform Papua New Guinea? Reflections and Questions

by Mitchell Rooney

As of July 2012 there just over 100,000 registered facebook users in Papua New Guinea (PNG), most of whom are below the age of 35, and an increasing array of PNG related websites. The explosion in the use of social media by Papua New Guineans is changing the way that they are engaging in politics, business and social activities on the home front. It is also changing the way that the international community is engaging with Papua New Guinea (PNG). In an unprecedented style, resonant with tours made by highly public figures and dignitaries, a young PNG man (Martyn Namorong, prolific blogger, self described betel nut seller and grassroots person) undertook a privately sponsored two week visit to the Australian cities of Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra in 2012. This visit entailed an advance announcement and a highly publicised agenda and programme wherein he met with prominent Australian PNG experts, politicians, journalists, ordinary Australian residents and gave seminars to a variety of Australian audiences.

socialmedia

A number of recent articles and radio interviews (Radio Australia, ABC, 4 July 2012;  Radio Australia, ABC, 5th July 2012Rausim! Social media and political protest in Papua New GuineaCatherine Graue of Australia Network) with pioneering social media practitioners reveals some important features of the emergence of social media in PNG. These people include Emmanuel Narakobi (administrator of the Masalai Blog and the facebook forum Sharp talk); Tavurvur who administers the Garamut blog); Martyn NamorongAlexander Rheeney , (PNG journalist and administrator of PNG Perspective); and Nou Vada (law student, blogger and administrator of The Edebamona Blog). In recognition of this emerging form of media Malum Nalu (Journalist and administrator of the Malum Nalu blogspot) was awarded the UNESCO/Divine Word Institute Award for Communication and Development in 2011.

In her paper, Rausim! Social media and political protest in Papua New Guinea, Sarah Logan talks about the use of social media in the recent political gymnastics in PNG. Inter alia, she highlights two roles of social media. The first is the role of social media in facilitating political protest and the second is its facilitation of civil society engagement in the practice of politics. She also highlights that the limitations on the use of social media include the limited numbers of users and the general sense of “political apathy” and “fragmented political identity” associated with PNG politics (Sarah Logan).

Martyn Namorong and Alexander Rheeney highlight (ABC Radio Australia) how PNG society is very community based and many educated and urban based Papua New Guineans remain closely connected with their rural based families. They point out that this means that the current numbers of facebook users represents a significant mass of PNG society whose engagement through social media has the potential of being translated and amplified through various offline networks. The far wider coverage of basic mobile phone services (phone calls and text messages) adds to this amplification effect.

Much of the discussion is focussed on how social media is revolutionising the way in which Papua New Guineans are engaging in the political arena. For example, Narakobi highlights that during the Easter 2012 political protests membership of the sharp talk facebook forum jumped from between 3000 and 4000 to over 6000.

Yet, other questions emerge beyond the potential role of social media in political transformation. Core to these is: How do social, development and political actors (national and international) translate this social revolution into something that matters for those that need it most? In this regard, two questions emerge:

  1. How can society manage the institutions that are created to ensure the principles of democracy – accountability, transparency, fairness, justice and equality – function to protect society as it shifts and responds to new and emerging power actors that are in a position at this point in history to harness the power of social media for a specific agenda?
  2. How can the power of social media facilitate a better engagement between, not only civil society and political actors, but also between civil society and development actors to bring about tangible development outcomes?

Both these questions are particularly important within the PNG context where lack of political will, corruption and lack of implementation capacity are the main impediments to development; violence is an explicit and blatant form of power; literacy rates are below 50%; over 30% of the population live below the poverty line; there are over 700 languages; and systems of law and order and law enforcement are dysfunctional at best. They are also important for development policy where an environment of functioning democracy, political stability and protection of society is the foundation for the achievement of development outcomes.

The following paragraphs are intended to highlight just some of the dynamics emerging in the social media sphere in PNG.

That the above referred social media pioneers have chosen different forms of public representation – real name versus pseudonym – is revealing of the social and political dynamics underpinning the use of social media in PNG. Namorong says that using his real name adds credibility and accountability to his writing. Another advantage is the direct credit that one receives for their contribution via social media. One disadvantage is the security of a person who speaks out on a sensitive issue such as corruption. On the other hand, Tavurur has blogged very successfully (high quality, high number of followers and sustained over a number of years) for several years now. In other cases, such as a facebook forum, the use of a pseudonym poses questions of transparency and accountability on the part of a forum administrator.

In a country where names are often synonymous with ethnicity, family and sometimes political affiliation and in a context where corruption and violence are widespread, it is understandable that some may wish to conceal their real identities when engaging in the public sphere. It is also interesting to see that many people use their real identities and openly write about issues such as corruption and violence. In one example, a woman in a forum of over 1000 people wrote how she did not support a relative who was a candidate in the election. She acknowledged that she might get in trouble with the family for speaking out but felt that she needed to have her say. In another example, in the PNGians against domestic violence forum, which has over 6000 members, women publicly plead for help to deal with violent situations. These examples reveal a civil society that is actively engaging on matters that affect their lives and that social media presents an accessible avenue to do so. Whether it is a safe and free median to engage is yet to be seen.

The table below provides a snapshot of some of the forum profiles and membership figures and reveals a variety of styles. Closed versus open groups; known administrators versus unknown administrators; provincial focus versus national or issue based focus. Membership of groups ranges from anywhere below 100 to over 6000.

 

I conclude by raising some issues for consideration in the hope of stimulating further dialogue.

  1. How does PNG society ensure that this shift in power and voice towards those who master the art of social media is made in a way that new power actors are equally held accountable for what they say and do with their skill in an evolving social context?
  2. How does society protect the rights and security of those who wish to speak up on corruption and violence?
  3. How does society respond to social demands created by the opportunities opened by social media? For example the voices of women who publically seek help in violent situations invoke a joint social responsibility for immediate support but they also create opportunities for those in the policy and development arena to formulate appropriate responses.
  4. Are issues on cyber education and safety, including the protection of children, being integrated into the formal and informal education system? Is funding being made available for organisations to run training courses on cyber safety in all communities?
  5. In terms of public and private partnership, might we see a proliferation of bill boards, TV advertisements, mobile phone alerts akin to donor supported HIV/AIDS and other billboards promoting the safe and responsible use of social media?
  6. Has the PNG Ombudsman Commission created an avenue to enable engagement with civil society through social media?
  7. Has the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary created an avenue to enable engagement with civil society through social media?
  8. Is there an Electoral Commission facilitated forum to enable feedback and election observation through social media?
  9. Some development agencies, including donors, multilateral agencies, international financial institutions and NGOs are already engaging with civil society through social media in some of the countries they work in. Is it time for development partners and donors in PNG to embrace this social revolution in the same way?
  10. Are those tasked with development policy formulation, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation, actively exploring ways of tapping into the opportunities presented by social media to engage with civil society?
  11. Is it possible that in the near future PNG will have an online and social media facilitated “development partner” and “civil society” forum?

Whatever the answer to these questions, it is clear that there are huge implications for the practice of development in PNG. If social media is to make a difference in PNG beyond its ability to reshape the political arena, it must be utilised as a tool by all actors interested in the development of PNG to translate this new energy into tangible development outcomes.

 

PNG National Elections 2017: Emphasis on Job creation and income generating opportunities is a must

By: Dr. Charles Yala

The journey to the 9th PNG National Parliament has just started.  I take this opportunity of the festive season and the beginning of a new year to reflect on what is in store for 2017 for our beloved PNG.  Festivities for Christmas and New Year are just behind us, but the tempo for more celebrations will rise as we approach the national elections in the middle of the year.

National elections, however, are serious matters that impact on all our lives, and the lives of those yet to be born.  The path to the PNG National Parliament is fraught with costly and difficult challenges.  Nonetheless, parliamentarians will be elected and an executive government formed before 2017 comes to an end. Political life will roll-on in the land of the unexpected, with unexpected consequences. I draw on a book I am now reading and the plight of many unemployed in PNG to give shape to a topic of immense national significance: that of opportunities for income generation.

elections-png

Festive Season and Election 2017

I began writing this article on 31 December 2016. It was a very hot day and my family, having earlier watched Moana at the cinema with our neighbours, had been busy preparing for our new year celebration meal of roast lamb, potatoes, salad, and cake for dessert. During the festive season, I began reading (former Australian journalist turned politician) Maxine McKew’s recent book, Tales from the Political Trenches. My thoughts started to process the story line in Moana, our New Year roast and the events described in Maxine’s book. Shaped by these thoughts, I started to write this article.

While the family roast reminded me of the new year parties across the length and breadth of PNG during the festive season leading to an election year, Moana reminded me of the development of traditional leadership skills, and the rise to leadership across the Pacific Islands, including PNG. Maxine McKew’s book provided an account of Australian political life, with McKew having defeated the sitting Prime Minister, John Howard, in the seat of Bennelong in New South Wales. She made Australian political history as only the second person to unseat an incumbent Australian Prime Minister in a national election. Details of her campaign strategy and her appreciation of the role she wanted to play as the local member of parliament were interesting to read.

These three events – my family preparing roast lamb for the New Year’s eve dinner,  Moana finding her place and leadership role, and McKew emerging to be a giant killer in the Australian political scene – reminded me of the kind of events that must be taking place across PNG throughout this festive period, given that 2017 is a  National Election Year.

From personal experience, I have seen aspiring candidates and their supporters use the festive season leading to the election year to  launch election campaigns. This is the period where political interests start to take shape and intending candidates start to convey their interests with their supporters, close friends and families.

I am quite sure several pigs must have lost their lives across the country during this festive season. Likewise, cartons of Coca-Cola must have been consumed, and the telephone services provided by Digicel and Bmobile/Vodafone would have been running hot as conversations turn to politics across this beautiful and diverse nation. This, of course, is just the beginning. There are more pigs to be slaughtered, more cartons of Coca Cola to be traded,  and more mobile phone and social media conversations to be had in the lead-up to the national elections.

This is the PNG version of modern day parliamentary democratic elections. In my humble opinion, Moana’s and Maxine’s strategies have limited relevance in the context of the PNG National Elections. If the past is any indication, it will be a costly and highly divisive process. Lives will be lost, through both direct and indirect election related causes.  On the other hand, elections in PNG are colourful and vibrant affairs, involving traditional dances and partying. Truck loads of people sing and chant. The midnight oil burns as supporters and candidates strategise and plan through the night.

Has election 2017 started?

While election 2017 has not officially started, the campaign has long been underway. The timing and the way Maxine McKew describes her campaign to unseat John Howard is in direct contrast to what I tried to briefly describe above. While both Australia and PNG have adopted the Westminster  system of parliamentary democracy, elections in both countries are distinctly different. The PNG electoral process has a mixture of Moana’s and Maxine’s worlds – the launch of political interests and campaigns under the guise of Christmas celebrations, the clout of cultural exchanges (i.e. cash for votes), and traditional obligations to muscle-in voters.

Moana’s world is no different to the subsistence way of life found in the PNG rural setting. Maxine’s world in the seat of Bennelong was far away from the realities of PNG’s cities and towns. Our country finds itself caught between the two extremes. It is in this space, where tradition and modernity clash, that the 2017 elections will take place.

Whether we choose to count in Kina, pork, four-wheel drives, or unfortunately even in terms of  human lives, elections in PNG are expensive.  By August 2017, only 111 winners of parliamentary seats will emerge from the thousands of aspirants to represent the seven or so million people of a vastly diverse and geographically  fragmented nation. Our new leaders will not just live in Moana’s world of sea farers or subsistence farmers. They will also compete with Maxine McKew’s Australia and others in a globalised community of nations. These 111 will be national leaders representing and shaping the present and future lives of the PNG people.

What should candidates, political parties and the electorate focus on in Election 2017 ?

What are the real issues and policies that the candidates and the political parties should focus on in the lead up to the elections? Similarly, what should the electorate demand from the candidates and political parties?

While pondering on such questions, I am also mindful that service delivery may not be an expectation from some segments of the community. Likewise, candidates may be lining up to get their share of the cake from the exploitation of the country’s natural resources. The motivations and interests of candidates and voters are more than likely to differ across the country.

As a PNG citizen who has navigated his way out of Moana’s world into McKew’s world, living  and working in Port Moresby, and as the director of the country’s only public funded think tank, I see it as my duty to ask these difficult yet pertinent questions.  My hope is that others will join in raising the level of debate in the lead-up to the  national election. The PNG NRI, as part of its contribution to the 2017 national elections, will be encouraging informed national debate.

Looking beyond the political rhetoric of candidates, political parties and the electorate, the main issue for me is jobs and income generating opportunities. Survival on subsistence farming, which is a reality for more than 80 percent of the country’s population, is a slow and painful path towards destitution through poverty. Promises of improved rural service delivery are, as I have described in few of my earlier writings, a fallacy.  The fallacy has been perpetuated as part of the  ‘feel good’ political rhetoric of many politicians and their supporters, repeated in mobilising votes, and then forgotten soon afterwards. This political rhetoric has been recited at each and every election since independence. I will be surprised if the same does not happen in the current elections.

What the electorate should demand, and the candidates should commit to the people of PNG, both now and into the future, are jobs, jobs, more jobs and income generating opportunities.  It is critical that elected leaders create opportunities for jobs and income generating activities. The electorate should demand this of them. Creating job and income generating opportunities is critical to empowering citizens to have a fulfilling life. Jobs and income generating opportunities will have direct impact on the family (food, clothing, home and education), directly impact on businesses (demand for goods and services creates more businesses), and tax revenue for the state at all levels (national, provincial and municipalities). This will in turn be useful for the apparatuses of the state to provide core public goods.

To place this argument in perspective, we should note the growing number of young people coming out of the education system who need jobs. The bulk of these graduates remain within their village communities. They need meaningful employment and income generating opportunities, rather than leaving them behind to subsist on whatever they can find. Similarly, those living in the expanding squatter settlements around the cities and towns need genuine jobs and income generating opportunities.

Creating jobs, more jobs and income generating opportunities should be the focus of every candidate and political party contesting the national elections in 2017. The electorate should pay attention to the strategies and policies of each candidate and political parties on job creation and income generating opportunities.  Promising rural service delivery and cargo in the form of Coca-Cola, four wheel drive vehicles, banana boats, and roads and bridges that lead to nowhere, will continue to leave the majority of our people on the path to poverty and destitution.

PNG and the people of this great country deserve better. It is incumbent on national leaders elected to deliver on this expectation, and it is the responsibility of each and every voter to demand the best for them from their aspiring representatives.

Conclusion

In 2017, the electorate must demand jobs, more jobs and income generating opportunities. We should refrain from being sold out with cargo. The electorate should know that you cannot have both – cargo and jobs/income generating opportunities. You can only have one and that should be jobs and income generating opportunities.

On this note, for those who make it to the 8th National Parliament, you will be called upon to serve our nation. Your electorate will be an integral part of a nation. A prosperous and cohesive  nation will be a blessing to your electorate. Thinking creatively about job creation and income generating opportunities for the country will be a benefit to your voters in your electorate. In creating jobs for your electorate you will be strengthening the case for your job as the representative of the people.

https://pngnri.org/png-national-elections-2017/#

Pacific Connectivity a Priority

By: 

If you’re old enough to remember business communications via telex, then you’ll understand just how important connectivity is to modern trade and the resulting economic development which in turn brings about significant improvements in health care, education and raises the general standard of living.vsat

It was the 1980s in PNG and I remember the arrival of our shiny new fax machine. It revolutionized the way we communicated. We could draw pictures to illustrate problems and instantly send these to the head office in Australia or the USA. We could place orders for supplies without standing in front of the telex, slowly typing messages that came out on delicate paper punch tape before being run through the machine again and hopefully not breaking mid stream. The fax machine improved our productivity and resulted in measurable improvements in our bottom line.

Fast forward almost 30 years, could you imagine running your business today without email, prevented from marketing your products on social media or not being able to look up manuals and parts catalogs. How could make it through lunch without knowing who was trying to contact you or who had written a review about your latest and greatest product or service, booking your return taxi ride to the office and all from the palm of your hand on your 3G or 4G smart phone. If all of a sudden you couldn’t do these things, your business would grind to a halt wouldn’t it? Well this is the every day experience that many hundreds of thousands of people throughout the Pacific face each and every day and in 2015 no less.

In Port Moresby, Honiara, Port Vila, Suva, Funafuti, Tarawa, Pago Pago and many more Pacific Island cities there’s a mobile communications revolution underway. If you’ve traveled through the islands recently you’ll agree that there’s an undeniable communications revolution underway. Some of the luckiest cities have undersea fiber cables, some have new ultra fast MEO satcom links. However you don’t have to venture too far from town to discover old G.703 E1 microwave links, connecting 2G phone sites. 2G banking and other text based apps are incredibly popular. These old networks will, or are already being crushed by the demand for data throughout the Pacific and not just in the most populace towns and cities but regional areas too. Data and communications demands will increase at an exponential rate in the coming years.

It’s a little old, November 2012 in fact, but I encourage you to take a look at the Lowy Institute for International Policy’s report titled; “Digital Islands: How the Pacific’s ICT Revolution is Transforming the Region”. It can be found here; http://www.lowyinstitute.org/files/cave_digital_islands_web.pdf. I find it an extremely interesting read. Just one of the many profound quotes; “What makes the ICT revolution in the Pacific particularly transformative is its potential to address the region’s demographic, geographic and economic challenges”. 

I share the hopes and dreams of the Pacific Islands political and business leadership, that the digital mobile broadband revolution will soon enrich the lives of the Pacific people. Connectivity will bring about political, social, educational, health care and economic reforms that were only dreamt about in recent times.

I’ve recently written of my amazement at the technical and business achievements of O3B. A satellite based fiber replacement in the sky, which has either delayed or negated the need for Pacific Island nations to use their sovereign wealth funds to invest in expensive under sea fiber cables. This MEO system has its place, its pros and its cons. However another transformative technology is on the near horizon for the Pacific, one that will help bridge the digital divide.

Like the long overdue, High Throughput (HTS) Ka Band satellites now being constructed and soon to be launch by Australia’s National Broadband Network Co. a new provider will soon be over head providing the same NBN like speeds and service to the Pacific. Kacific will bring the next wave of affordable broadband to homes, villages and businesses throughout the Pacific Islands. In addition large parts of under served regional and remote parts of Asia, like Indonesia’s far flung Islands, which are not so different from the South Pacific Islands, these will also benefit from Kacific’s new satellite. Not to mention parts of NZ which will also soon have an ultra fast and affordable Ka Band HTS satellite service via Kacific.

With powerful and focused Ka Band spot beams across the vast distance of the Pacific Ocean, Kacific will deliver broadband speeds at never before seen pricing, in places you would never have suspected and all by using quite inexpensive end user terminal equipment. The company’s web site says that the potential market for their new satellite is in excess of 40 million people. A market they’ll clearly lead and dominate in the very near future given their innovative approach to the problem and regional uniqueness.

It’s worth taking a look at their web site; http://kacific.com/.

Just look at the success of companies like Digicell who are investing in the Pacific’s digital future and reaping the financial rewards for doing so. When Kacific eventually lists I’d say take a punt, this is something that will not only make business sense for your investment portfolio, but you’ll be helping the people of the Pacific Islands into a new digital future of health, economic freedom, global participation and happiness.

Bank South Pacific to list on ASX

By: Jonny Andrew

Papua New Guinea’s largest bank, Bank of South Pacific (BSP) would be making history for Papua New Guinea when they list on Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).

The BSP Bank — one of the largest listed on the Port Moresby Exchange — has more deposits than loans because of the limited corporate field to lend to in Papua New Guinea, according to sources.

Bankers at UBS met with fund managers in the past fortnight, testing their appetite for a dual listing of the financial operation in Australia, in addition to the Port Moresby stock exchange, where it is already listed.

It is estimated to be floated at $1 billion dollars.

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PNG’s Bank South Pacific eyes ASX listing via UBS

Papua New Guinea’s largest bank, Bank South Pacific, is heading towards a listing on the Australian Securities Exchange through investment bank UBS, with a float expected to be worth at least $1 billion.

Bankers at UBS met with fund managers in the past fortnight, testing their appetite for a dual listing of the financial operation in Australia, in addition to the Port Moresby stock exchange, where it is already listed.

The bank — one of the largest listed on the Port Moresby Exchange — has more deposits than loans because of the limited corporate field to lend to in Papua New Guinea, according to sources.

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Bank South Pacific Loan Mix

There are a number of economic headwinds in PNG — its biggest market — with inflation running at 6 or 7 per cent, while currency risk remains a factor.

Gross domestic product in PNG is shrinking due to the completion of the PNG LNG project. At the same time the weaker outlook for oil has put a question mark over other major energy projects.

Currently listed, Bank South Pacific is owned by various local institutions.

Net interest margins are 7 per cent, and the long-term compound annual growth rate is 24 per cent. The bank doubled its earnings in the past six years, posting 532 million kina ($224.9m) in net profit during the 2015 financial year, and return on equity is 29 per cent.

In 2014, its revenue was 1.67 billion kina.

BSP also has 20 per cent of its earnings from tier one capital and has the largest amount of employees, branches (there are currently 35 in six countries) and ATMs.

It has 650,000 banking customers throughout the Pacific, and in December 2014, it had assets valued at 15.8 billion kina.

Originally, BSP was derived from the National Bank of Australasia, based in Port Moresby.

As independence approached for PNG, the incoming government made known its desire that all banks in PNG be locally incorporated, rather than branches of a foreign parent.

Since its inception, Bank South Pacific has had a strategy of rapidly expanding throughout the South Pacific.

It has acquired assets from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac

Our bank regulator, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, has a cross-border training program with PNG authorities.

BSP’s move comes after PNG finance house Kina Securities listed in Australia last year in a dual listing to raise $97m, with a $164m market value, in an effort to offer funding power for its Malaysian-owned Maybank acquisition and enable the sell-down of 35 per cent shareholder Fu Shan Investment. Former Suncorp banking chief David Foster was appointed to the board.

Since listing at $1 per share, the company’s share price has risen to $1.06, which was its closing price on Friday.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/dataroom/pngs-bank-south-pacific-eyes-asx-listing-via-ubs/news-story/b761d9a01e726132926b3c40ac2ed792

Call to Invest in Infrastructure, Industries and Technology to grow the Economy

The greatest investment experts in America have all rallied behind U.S President elect Donald Trump…….their advise is he can make American great again…..and that is to invest more in Infrastructure, Industries and Technology…..

What is Papua New Guinea waiting for? This advise is FREE!

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President Trump, You Can Make America’s Economy Great Again. Here’s How

By: Richard Duncan

I have just uploaded a Macro Watch video in the form of a presentation to President-elect Trump. I believe it is the most important video I have ever made. Here’s how it begins:

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President Trump,

You CAN make America’s economy great again. Here’s how:

INVEST, Mr. President – not only in infrastructure but also in the industries and technologies of the future.

You have been elected President at a unique moment in history that gives the government of the United States the ability to borrow and invest in the US economy on a scale not only large enough to rebuild America’s infrastructure, but large enough to also induce a new technologic revolution that would restructure the entire economy and make it great again, greater than ever!

If you grasp this opportunity, the United States will have unassailable supremacy in the industries of the future; you will lock in another American Century; and you will improve the well being of every American – and the well being of every person on this planet.

However, you have also been elected at a time when the global economy is in grave danger of collapsing into a depression, one from which it might not recover for decades – if ever. One misstep on your part and instead of making the economy great again, you will make the Great Depression again.

Here’s what you need to know and to act on to succeed.

The global economy is an enormous economic bubble that has been inflated by Credit. If the Credit contracts, the bubble will pop and the New Great Depression will begin. If interest rates go up significantly, the bubble will pop and the New Great Depression will begin. One wrong move on your part and the economy will spiral out of control into a depression. It won’t be short and sharp like 1921. It will be long and devastating like 1929 to 1945. That’s the bad news.

Here’s the good news. You are absolutely right to call for government investment in infrastructure. DON’T STOP THERE. During your administration, the government can borrow and invest trillions of dollars in the US economy without causing inflation. The combination of Globalization and Fiat Money makes this possible.

You not only have the opportunity to rebuild American infrastructure so that it is second to none as you promised to do in your victory speech. You also have the opportunity to invest in 21st century industries and technologies on a scale that is too big to fail, thereby guaranteeing that the United States remains the most prosperous and powerful country in the world for many decades to come.

In the past, the government could not run large budget deficits without causing high rates of destabilizing inflation. Today, the United States government can borrow and invest many trillions of dollars at little to no cost – and do so without causing inflation.

In this presentation, I’ll explain why. I’ll also describe the kind of government investment that is required to pull the United States and the world out of this economic crisis – and the extraordinary benefits that such investments would produce.

The stars are aligned. You instinctively understand the desperate need to invest in American infrastructure even if that means increasing the national debt AND you have the political clout to make sure that Congress funds this investment, something it was unwilling to do until now. At the same time, the combination of Globalization and fiat money makes it possible for the US government to borrow and invest trillions of dollars at little or even no cost whatsoever. Now that you have shattered the taboos that blocked fiscal stimulus and an increase in the national debt, all that remains to do is to determine is what kind of investments will generate the greatest benefits – and then to make those investments.

This is a once in history opportunity, Mr. President. Grasp it. INVEST. And make America’s economy greater than ever.

Time to Increase PNG’s Debt to GDP ratio to its “Optimal Level”

By Government Insider

In a previous article, we raised a question “Is PNG bankrupt“? and we compare its debt-to-GDP ratio with other countries. This article follows from the previous one……

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Few issues in politics and economics are nowadays more discussed – and less understood – than public debt. Many raise their voices to urge for reducing the debt, but few explain why and in what way reducing the debt would be conducive to a better economy or a fairer society. And there are no limits to all the – especially macroeconomic –calamities and evils a large public debt is supposed to result in – unemployment, inflation, higher interest rates, lower productivity growth, increased burdens for subsequent generations, etc., etc.

People usually care a lot about public sector budget deficits and debts, and are as a rule worried and negative. Drawing analogies from their own household’s economy, debt is seen as a sign of an imminent risk of default and hence a source of re-probation. But although no one can doubt the political and economic significance of public debt, there’s however no unanimity whatsoever among economists as to whether debt matters, and if so, why and in what way. And even less – one doesn’t know what is the “optimal” size of public debt.

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Insert: PNG Debt to GDP ratio since 1997

Through history public debts have gone up and down, often expanding in periods of war or large changes in basic infrastructure and technologies, and then going down in periods when things have settled down.

Public debt is not like private debt. Government debt is essentially a debt to itself, its citizens. Interest paid on the debt is paid by the taxpayers on the one hand, but on the other hand, interest on the bonds that finance the debts goes to those who lend out the money.

Today there seems to be a rather widespread consensus of public debt being acceptable as long as it doesn’t increase too much and too fast. If the public debt-GDP ratio becomes higher than X % the likelihood of debt crisis and/or lower growth increases.

But in discussing within which margins public debt is feasible, the focus, however, is solely on the upper limit of indebtedness, and very few asks the question if maybe there is also a problem if public debt becomes too low.

Whatever the problems of low public debt or high public debt, most economists would agree that the optimum level of indebtedness would be 50%…….maybe it’s time Papua New Guinea increase theirs as well.

 

​Advantages and Disadvantages of Budget Deficit

By: Saipriya Iyer

In layman’s terms, deficit budget occurs when spending exceeds income. The following article enlists the advantages and disadvantages of deficit spending.

Widely used in the disciplines of economics, finance, and the government, the meaning of deficit spending varies according to the context. That said, the underlying principle remains the same, i.e., less income, more spending. The subject has also been a topic of world-wide debate amongst economists. While liberals maintain the opinion that this concept increases economic growth, conservatives argue otherwise. The theory is outlined in the following paragraphs, along with its positives and negatives

THE THEORY

  • When a person or the government spends more than he/it makes, the concept is referred to as deficit spending.
  • Deficit spending by the government needs to be financed through some other means of financing.
  • Since the spending increases, the economy tends to increase.
  • The excess borrowing from other sources, however, can have serious consequences later.
  • Renowned economist, John Maynard Keynes, supported the concept of deficit spending during a recession.
  • However, excess debt is a constant accompaniment to deficits, and this results in improper planning or capital mismanagement.
  • The pros and cons are decided on the interpretation; an advantage may be considered one until it gives beneficial returns, otherwise, it can prove to be a loss too.
  • To be more precise, say, due to deficit spending, the government spends more on infrastructure, which is good for economic growth. However, it needs to borrow heavily from other nations, which is a disadvantage in the long run

ADVANTAGES

Increased Economic Growth

  • It is considered one of the positives of deficit spending.
  • When a government spends excessively, it can afford to buy infrastructure for the country.
  • This, in turn, leads to employment of labor force.
  • As more money flows into the country, the overall economy growth rate accelerates.
  • This is especially useful during a recession, as this can stimulate jobs, increase businesses, private investment ventures increase, and consequently, the nation’s economy rises

Control

  • Deficit spending leads to a budget deficit.
  • Running a budget deficit assures that the government bodies think twice before making unnecessary investments.
  • The interest rates matter as well, and a higher interest will force them to think of plans to pay back the debt as soon as possible.
  • It needs to impose more taxes so that the interest rates do not matter a lot.

DISADVANTAGES

No Savings

  • An individual/government will have no savings during a deficit period.
  • This is extremely problematic as during emergencies, there will be no stash to rely on.
  • This leads to excessive borrowing from other nations, that too at a high interest rate.
  • Excessive debt continues to pile up and a vicious circle is created

Rising Costs

  • To retain the excess expenditure, government increases taxes.
  • Prices rise more than usual, this leads to inflation.
  • There is a drop in the standard of living, ultimately resulting in a sorry state of affairs.

Foreign Expenditure

  • Though the government borrows from other nations and this leads to increased infrastructure, the fact remains that the borrowing is done at a very high interest rate.
  • Money does flow in, but the debt remains; the actual investment of the country does not increase, taxation reduces, and the debt keeps piling up.
  • Subsequent measures need to be taken to pay off the debt and increase the internal revenue.

POINTS TO PONDER

  • Most economists with a neutral view, suggest that the right kind of spending can spur economic growth.
  • As mentioned earlier, this subject is a topic of debate amongst the conservatives and the liberals.
  • Herbert Hoover, one of the economic experts, was openly against deficit spending around the Great Depression, because he believed that deficits would destroy the country’s foundations.
  • Keynes, of course, as mentioned before, supported deficit spending, especially when the country is financially downtrodden.
  • Another important point – do not confuse deficit spending with fiscal responsibility, the former is used as a tool of the latter.
  • The borrowed capital from other nations can also be used for public spending, like education or transport.
  • Borrowing heavily from global trade markets and international funds can affect the sovereignty of the nation.

History has depicted that a balanced budget does not guarantee a steady economic growth. Government spending increases the scope of private investment, and the effects of public borrowing on the same are significantly erased. All the same, to make use of the situation in a profitable manner is dependent on the individual, the organization, or the government.