Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez (second from left) witnesses the oath-taking ceremony of the officials of Philippine-Papua New Guinea Business Council (PH-PNGBC) on November 16, 2018 in Port Morseby, Papua New Guinea. With the establishment of the PH-PNGBC, both countries aim to strengthen their business, economic, social, and cultural ties.

The Filipino and Papua New Guinean business community recently launched the Philippines-Papua New Guinea Business Council (PH-PNGBC) to help promote and strengthen the business, economic, social and cultural ties between the Philippines and Papua New Guinea.

The launching ceremony, which was held on November 16, 2018 in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, was followed by the oath-taking of the business council officers. It was the same day that the Memorandum of Agreement on Joint Rice Development Project was signed by both countries.

Among the Filipino officials who witnessed the ceremony were Philippine Ambassador to Papua New Guinea Bienvenido Tejano, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez, other government officials, as well as representatives from the private sector.

High-ranking government officials from Papua New Guinea also graced the event, including Agriculture Minister Benny Allan, Speaker of the National Parliament Job Pomat, Minister for Trade and Commerce Wera Mori, and Pacific Advantist Vice Chancellor Dr. Raul Lozano.

According to the officials, the launch of the business council was timely, since both countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that established the Joint Economic and Trade Committee or JETC, a formal consultation mechanism for the discussion of trade, investments, economic cooperation, and other sectors or areas of mutual interests.

The MOU was inked on the sidelines of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting.

As it is envisioned to complement the initiatives pursued under the JETC, the PH-PNGBC aims to strengthen the ties of the private sectors from both countries and enable them to work together and support the growing trade, investment and economic engagements between the Philippines and Papua New Guinea.

The council is open to legitimate Filipino and Papua New Guinean businesses who wants to avail of its membership. Through this, members can attend host seminars, conferences, trade and investment briefings, trade missions, matchmaking and networking events.

With the launching of the business council, the DTI expects that the Philippines will have a more vigorous trade and investment relationship with Papua New Guinea. Among the sectors that the two nations can explore are technical skills development, education services, medical services, construction, and agri-tourism.♦

Date of Release: 23 November 2018