August 22nd and 23rd saw the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce & Industry (POMCCI) host their annual PNG Investment Summit in Brisbane, attracting a range of high profile speakers, leaders from the PNG business and government sectors, as well as various attendees looking to invest in PNG’s compelling business opportunities.

Port Moresby is very much the nerve centre of both government and business activity across PNG. The summit’s ‘Future City’ theme explored how Port Moresby can embrace future city trends and concepts, with thought-provoking talks from Dr Simon Baptist of The Economist’s Intelligence Unit, Kylee Anastasi, Partner – Infrastructure and Urban Renewal at PwC Australia, as well as Pradeep Philip from Deloitte Access Economics.

Of course, China’s growing middle class will present a range of opportunities to PNG businesses and David Morris, Australia’s Chief Representative to the Pacific Islands Forum and Trade Commissioner (China), was on hand to articulate the opportunities. We also heard from local PNG business leaders regarding their own plans for Port Moresby and the nation more broadly, including PNG Ports, Digicel, Aggreko, covering how Port Moresby will be powered and connected into the future. With so much planning effort going into Port Moresby’s hosting of APEC in 2018, we also heard from Sir Charles Lepani of the APEC PNG Coordination Authority.

Tourism is now widely regarded as a significant opportunity for PNG. Tangible plans for tourism infrastructure, products, services and marketing strategies were discussed from PNG’s Tourism Promotion Authority, Network Kokoda and Atlas Urban.

Gudmundur Fridriksson (Chief Executive Officer & Director, Paga Hill Development Company), George Hallit (Chief Operating Officer, Paga Hill Development Company), Rio Fiocco (Partner, Fiocco Nutley Lawyers, PNG), Chey Scovell (CEO, Manufacturers Council of PNG)

Paga Hill Development Company (PHDC) was on hand to discuss how Paga Hill Estate is at the heart and soul of the Port Moresby ‘future city’. Following an introduction from an apologetic CEO Gummi Fridriksson, who was very sick with the flu, COO George Hallit presented Paga Hill Estate to the summit. Encompassing 25 hectares of comprehensively planned area adjoining the city’s downtown area, an account was given on how Paga Hill Estate will transform the face of the city. In contrast to the compound-like developments that are commonplace across the city, the public will be able to freely roam between waterfront, commercial, residential and green open space areas like never before.

PHDC Chief Operating Officer George Hallit

With plans for two hotels, a cultural and exhibition centre, war museum, as well as waterfront commercial and retail, the site will capitalise on the nearby planned cruise liner terminal, drastically transform the visitor experience to Port Moresby. With thousands of jobs to be created in its construction and ongoing operation, the site will also generate various spin-off business opportunities. Paga Hill Estate is at the heart and soul of the Port Moresby future city, establishing itself as a vibrant focal point for locals and visitors alike. With its transformative tourism infrastructure and vibrant activity, it will also go some way to triggering a more diversified local economy.

George also participated in a panel discussion on enabling the Port Moresby ‘future city’. Interesting discussion was had on how the PNG Government could do to best leverage PHDC’s landmark squatter settlement relocation, particularly with respect to government policy and regulatory changes to better facilitate the process. With just 3% of PNG’s land available as state leasehold, settlements at the fringes of our cities and town centres will increasingly face the need to relocate and PHDC feels passionate about the government leveraging its experience.

George Hallit (Chief Operating Officer, Paga Hill Development Company), Kylee Anastasi (Partner, Infrastructure and Urban Renewal, PwC Australia), Lew Nielsen (Director, Loloata Island Resort, Lamana Developments), Deyanira Desouza (Project Director, US Embassy PNG), Dr Simon Baptist (Chief Economist, The Economist Intelligence Unit)

Special thanks must go to Glenn Armstrong and the Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce & Industry for delivering such a beneficial and well-executed event. We’re very much looking forward to you taking the Port Moresby ‘Future City’concept to the next level.

Paga Hill Estate is a world class master planned estate in the heart of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The waterfront site is the first comprehensively planned multi-use development in Papua New Guinea to be enjoyed by both residents and visitors alike.

Artistic impression of Paga Hill Estate’s completed waterfront

The all-inclusive development will include vibrant public spaces and waterfront promenade, luxury hotels, residential apartments, restaurants, retail, commercial space, a Trade, Exhibition & Cultural Centre, restoration of WWII relics, marina precinct and a nearby international cruise liner terminal.

The Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce & Industry is an active, member-based business chamber in Papua New Guinea’s capital since the 1920s. In addition to representing its members’ interests to Government, the Chamber also provides a wide range of services to its members. The PNG Investment Summit is an annual event held by the Chamber, with this year’s event themed ‘Port Moresby Future City’.

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