APEC PNG Authority signs MoU with Oxford Business Group

Oxford Business Group (OBG) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Papua New Guinea (PNG) Authority.

The MoU will be to provide research about Papua New Guinea’s economy for the 2018 APEC Leaders’ Summit, which takes place in Port Moresby in November.

The agreement was signed by Stephanie Harl, OBG’s new country director in PNG, on behalf of the global research and consultancy firm, and Christopher Hawkins, CEO, APEC PNG Authority.

Harl said she was “delighted” that OBG’s team would be making a key contribution to the landmark event, which had significant implications for both the country and investors.

The MoU with the APEC PNG Authority is one of the first signed by Harl in her new role. Since joining OBG in 2012, Harl has worked on a broad range of projects in emerging markets across four continents, including Myanmar, where she launched the firm’s operations in 2013, South Africa, Indonesia, Colombia, Brunei Darussalam and Egypt. A qualified UK solicitor, she previously worked in corporate finance.

Commenting after the signing, Harl said its chairmanship of APEC in 2018 had provided PNG with a timely opportunity to showcase the country’s largely untapped wealth of natural resources to the world and strengthen trade relations with strategically important international partners.

“Our analysis of PNG’s economic development and investment opportunities has highlighted the country’s attractions, which range from fertile land and natural beauty sites to liquefied natural gas and mineral resources,” she said. “I’m delighted that we will be teaming up with the APEC PNG Authority at this significant juncture in the country’s development and look forward to sharing the results of our research with the thousands of visitors expected to attend this key event.”

Speaking on behalf of the APEC PNG Authority, Hawkins said PNG’s efforts to diversify its economy, following years of fluctuating global commodity prices, and sharpen its focus on digitalisation, had heightened the need to ensure that investors were made aware of the country’s changing economic landscape and the myriad openings that its plans were already producing.

“OBG is known to be a market leader on emerging economies, including those in which accurate and reliable data is hard to come by,” he said. “Its analysis to date of both the challenges that Papua New Guinea faces, and efforts to advance the economy have served as a valuable reference for business leaders in the decision-making process. I am pleased that the APEC PNG Authority, together with all delegates attending the November summit, will benefit from the Group’s input before, during and after this milestone event.”

PNG’s chairmanship of APEC in 2018 and its significance for the country will be a major topic of analysis in The Report: Papua New Guinea 2018, OBG’s forthcoming report on the country.

The report will mark the culmination of more than six months of field research by a team of analysts from Oxford Business Group. it will feature a range of interviews with leading representatives, including: Prime Minister Peter O’Neill; Charles Abel, deputy Prime Minister and treasurer; Allan Bollard, Executive Director, APEC; David Toua, Chairman, APEC Business Advisory Committee (ABAC); and Clarence Hoot, Managing Director, Investment Promotion Authority (IPA).

The report will be a vital guide to the many facets of the country, including its macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and other sectoral developments. It will be produced with the IPA. Contributions will also be made by PwC and Leahy Lewin Lowing Sullivan Lawyers (LLLS). It will be available in print and online.  

Press Release