Steamships To Return To ARoB

Steamships Managing Director Rupert Bray was in Toniva, Central Bougainville to break ground and fulfill customary obligations with the landowners before the company can move back to Bougainville.

The first step is reclaiming the company’s former holdings in Bougainville by agreeing to abide by the terms of the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) on inward investment.

Bray expressed the company's gratitude to the Autonomous Bougainville Government and the people of Bougainville for their confidence allowing the company to reclaim the lands they leased before the Bougainville crisis, and because of their history together, he hopes this relationship can continue.

ABG President Ishmael Toroama was also present at the ceremony and he too was grateful to the Steamships Trading Company.

“Your confidence in my government gives confidence to other would be investors and companies who are interested in conducting business on Bougainville. It signifies that Bougainville has returned to normalcy and we have a conducive business environment that is ready to exploit the various investment opportunities on our resource rich islands,” President Toroama said.

Many reputable companies were based on Bougainville before the crisis and of these, many have titles to leased land on Bougainville as exemplified by this move by the Steamships Trading Company.

President Toroama said the ABG would be making an announcement to these companies to return to Bougainville to reclaim their lease holdings should they choose to.

Furthermore, he said that this invitation will only be open for a six-month period and under new terms of agreement with the ABG, the leases will be for 25 years only with the option for an extension.

President Toroama thanked Bray for Steamship’s confidence in Bougainville adding, “I believe you will be an important partner to Bougainville as we draw to a close our journey to self-determination and begin the new one as an independent nation.”


Carol Kidu