Agriculture discussed at Hong Kong conference

The Hong Kong ‘PNG-Asia Investment Conference’ has evolved from the traditional Sydney conferences, hosted by the PNG Chamber of Mines and Petroleum.

While the Sydney conferences focus on minerals and energy resources, the inaugural Hong Kong conference now takes into account forestry, agriculture, tourism and fisheries.

This was evident in today’s session 4 at the Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel, where the regional chief executive officer of Sime Darby Plantation’s Upstream Operation, Malaysia, Nik Mazia Nik Mustapha, said “there is something unique and interesting that PNG has to offer”.

“You are able to garner the confidence of investors coming from all these different industries and sectors,” she said.

“I feel that in New Britain Palm Oil as well. We have been in the country – in PNG ground – for the last 56 years and I believe it’s still counting.

“Sime Darby has been in existence for the last 200 years and we are still on our journey towards excellence.”

NBPOL is the largest employer after the PNG Government, with 23,500 permanent employees. It contributes 14 percent to PNG’s agriculture output and is PNG’s largest palm oil producer, with 83 percent of national crude palm oil production.

She said despite campaigns against palm oil, NBPOL and its parent company, Sime Darby, are environmental, social, and governance (ESG) leaders.

“We are the world’s biggest producer of certified, sustainable palm oil. We are the first palm oil company in the world to be verified as ‘forced labour free’. This is endorsed by the International Labour Organization as well as the United States Customs and Border Protection.”

Nik Mustapha’s presentation was applauded by the Chamber of Mines’ Senior Vice President, Richard Kassman, who said it was the best by far.

The inaugural PNG-Asia Investment Conference started today and will end tomorrow. Another presentation covering PNG’s agriculture sector, specifically the special economic zone opportunities with chicken, oil palm and cattle, will be delivered by Dr Keith Galgal on day 2. Dr Galgal is the national agribusiness advisor – FAO PNG Country office.

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