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Friday, 14 December




The recent outburst by the Attorney General has a lot to be desired coming from a Senior State Minister considered by many to be one of the last remaining upright and good leaders of this nation. However, it seems there is a lot more than what meets the eye. Our knight in shining Amour appears to be a devil of the highest order. A lot of information is intentionally concealed and withheld to deceive the general public and so the government of the day. And to what end, one may ask. Is this a ploy to remove a hardworking and honest woman who has been knocking out dubious claims from the minister and his cronies and may be, other personal reasons the Minister is not telling? Well soon find out. He may not be as honest just like the current crop of ministers in parliament. Ministers of the current government are frantically fighting for their own self-interests and he is no exception. If he was honest, he would have addressed some very high-profile corruption cases that have been before his office for a long time now and of true national importance. Paraka saga and co to name a few. This money as we will see is rightfully the peoples and the delays in settlement was not the Sol Gen fault. Off course not the K200 million as he purports and intentionally inflates to defame, but a fraction as we will see.
This judgment for the payout of royalties of K200 million stems from a Supreme Court decision passed in 2003 against the State. The Plaintiffs were aggrieved Gobe PDL land owners who claimed that royalty payments were not done properly. Royalty payments and not tax payers monies. A Creditors Screening Committee was therefore, set up comprising DPE officers and land owners to assess the claims for payout pursuant to the court order.

However, the Department of Petroleum and Energy wanted a proper audit conducted to ascertain and confirm payments already made and ones owing to the Plaintiff before outstanding payments were settled. This information was to be provided by the DPE and the Finance Department. Numerous court orders and decisions in 2014 demanded the provision of this information before payments were made but to no avail. This off course is not the Solicitor Generals fault. However, it now has become the cross on which she would be hanged. That is, for administrative failures by the Finance Department and the DPE. Nonetheless, the K200 million ordered by court to be...


China International Import Expo: a new opportunity for Pacific states? Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre

The recent China International Import Expo (held in Shanghai from 510 November) represented a valuable opportunity for Pacific island countries (PICs) to promote their products to Chinese importers and consumers. The eight PICs that have diplomatic relations with China Papua New Guinea (PNG), Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Cook Islands and Niue displayed their featured products (Table 1). Although the expo was designed to showcase Chinas commitment to promoting free trade and reducing its trade surplus with partner countries, the sheer scale of Chinas economy means that an imbalance in bilateral trade between China and PICs is ingrained.

By examining the trade relationship between China and the 14 PICs, I argue that while Chinas exports to the region have grown more steadily than its imports over the past decade, the imbalance is less serious if Chinas exports to the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) are excluded. There are practical ways to increase PICs exports to China.

Table 1: Products featured by PICs at the Shanghai expo

Source: Yolanda Jiang, Pacific Trade and Investment Commission (China)

Ups and downs

An overview of bilateral merchandise trade between China and the 14 PICs for the period 2007 to 2016 is presented in Figure 1 below. Chinas exports underwent a more than sixfold increase over the decade, notwithstanding declines in 2013 and 2014 largely caused by a reduction in exports to RMI of US $400 million and US $200 million respectively. Chinas imports showed a slower growth pattern, with an overall increase of 315 per cent and fluctuations in imports in 2009, 2012 and 2016. The drop in 2016 reflected an import decrease of US $144 million from PNG and US $84 million from Solomon Islands.

Trade imbalance

China is in trade surplus with PICs and the gap is widening. As Figure 1 shows, Chinas exports to the 14 PICs exceeded its imports throughout the years 200716, with this increase partly driven by the growing number of China-funded infrastructure projects (especially to PNG).[1] Trade betw...

Thursday, 13 December


China gets the message. Keep the coal fires burning "IndyWatch Feed"

if for power youre yearning. With apologies to Vera Lynn. If you really want the home fires.

A recent report from the activist group CoalSwarm included satellite imagery that shows many coal-fired power projects that were halted by the Chinese government have quietly been restarted. In total, 46.7 gigawatts (GW) of new and restarted coal-fired power construction are either generating power or will soon be operational. If all the plants reach completion, they alone would increase Chinas coal-fired power capacity by 4%.

Abroad, it is the same story. By the end of 2016, as part of the Belt and Road Initiative, China is involved in 240 coal-fired power projects in 25 BRI countries with a total installed capacity of 251 GW,27 making it the most important global player in the development of coal-fired power projects.

Over the past year, demand for energy is up substantially, as high as 15% in the case of natural gas. Given the overwhelming need to boost economic growth, climate change issues are largely absent from official action: Chinese authorities are focused on securing these energy supplies.

Many of Chinas initiatives, including much of its Belt and Road (BRI) development initiative are focused on serving the countrys need for energy, through the building of pipelines, power facilities and ports in more than 70 countries. In particular it focuses on:
securing natural gas and oil supplies:
imports through pipelines from Myanmar and Turkmenistan
planned imports via the nearly completed Russian Power of Siberia10 project
and a proposed Power of Siberia 2 pipeline
from the Middle East, via pipelines through Gwadar, Pakistan to Kashgar, China
securing LNG supplies from as far away as Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Qatar, the United States and Canada, as well as from Russias Yamal project13 along a Polar Silk Road.
securing oil supplies from Oman, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Angola, Iraq, UAE, Kuwait, Colombia, Kazakhstan, Congo, South Sudan, Brazil, Venezuela, and Canada.

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