The value of overseas conferences

The value of conferences is in the relationships, the conversations and engagement that happen on the margins.

It is not just about what people talk about during the conference, as part of the program, said the president of the Papua New Guinea Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, Anthony Smare, on the final day of the inaugural PNG-Asia Investment Conference in Hong Kong.

Speaking to PNG media a few hours before yesterday afternoon’s closing of the event, Smare alluded to ‘accessibility’ when PNG conferences are hosted overseas. In this case, in Hong Kong, the gateway to Asia.  

“It’s a big leap for them to come to PNG because they read the stories, the process of getting visas to come to PNG; these things are hard,” said the chamber’s president.

“What we found is, we’re able to get more people to come to conferences – or investors to come to conferences – when we put it in a place where it’s easy for them to get to.

“The idea is, you bring everybody from PNG there – who’s important – for those investors to get a sense of the ecosystem. That the ecosystem is supportive.

“It’s not just about the Prime Minister and the ministers. It’s also about the department secretaries, it’s about the Internal Revenue Commission and Customs, the Immigration and Citizenship Authority – all of our regulators.

“And then it’s all about all the different entrepreneurs and the businesses that operate within our country because they can tell them, ‘Look, we want you to come, we want to do business, we’re happy to be your partner’, and those things.”

Smare further stressed on the importance of having global brands present, especially recognised brands that have standing in places that PNG is targeting, such as Swire Group, who has key operations in Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland, and Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group Co., Ltd. Their representatives did their presentations on Monday.

“That’s why we bring it to Sydney and we’ve now brought it to Asia.” 

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