PNG Start-up Advise

We often hear at forums related to doing business in Papua New Guinea: ‘Now is the right time…get on the boom bus’. And we know that a number of Fijian-owned
27 Jun 2015 08:12
PNG Start-up Advise
From left Allan Lee, Mahesh Patel, Joyce Mano and Dharmendra Parmer

We often hear at forums related to doing business in Papua New Guinea: ‘Now is the right time…get on the boom bus’.

And we know that a number of Fijian-owned businesses have taken on that challenge.


They have expanded their horizon in this mineral-resource rich Pacific Island nation with a population of over seven million.

While a few have failed perhaps due to lack of strategic planning, let’s not forget the ones which are riding on the back of PNG’s thriving economy.


The current Gross Domestic Product by the Fiji Bureau of Statistics (in terms of current prices) stands at $31.73 billion, against Fiji’s $5.46 billion.

So this week we feature local and PNG-based business owners and consultants on their advice on PNG start-ups or just what you have to do to get a share of the pie.



What’s one advice you’d give local companies that wish to expand to the PNG market?


I believe you have to find the right strategic partner on the ground because you can create the synergy and mitigate that risk. Having a partner on the ground even for cost- wise they can do all your physicality, market search.

These include all the statistics and even the ease of business and other compliances issues because sometimes it takes times and its costly flying. Having a right partner is one crucial thing to do.

It also depends on what businesses you want do. In PNG 80 per cent of the people are subsistent farmers and you have to look at the statistics of the business you are getting into.

Joyce Mano

Handy Group Director


I say to people, I’ve been here for over 31 years. I can easily retire in Sydney or anywhere in the world but why do I keep going there? Because every time you go there, you see opportunities.

You mix with people, you learn their culture. As I’ve said there’s not much statistics there. You’ll find those statistics on the ground. So the first thing to do is pack your bags and fly to Papua New Guinea.

Give us a call. And we’ll show you around. And once you get there and I’ve taken a lot of people and they say ‘Wow this is not as bad as people make it out to.”

People talk about security issues and stuff. Every society has got a small element of bad. So does Fiji. 95 per cent of the people are God-fearing people. So just go and experience.

Mahesh Patel

CPL Group Chairman


You need to be there. For example you should be sure of what you want to do and how big you want to go. If you don’t start, there will be no prosperity. What you have to do is see a product, have a look at the market need and only then can you see what area you can tap into.

There are so many sophisticated industries and it’s not like PNG doesn’t have it, they do! But they are being sold at very high price. So the advantage for the Fijian businesses is that in terms of price range we would be more affordable compared to that of Australian businesses…We from Fiji can do business there and probably give them half price.

This is the right time to go into business in PNG.

Dharmendra Parmer

Deluxe Footwear Managing Director


I would advise any Fijian company interested in setting up a business in PNG – one of the important things to do is to first you need to go on the ground.

Look for yourself and the beauty about working in PNG. Fijian businesses that are already there can simulate and relate with problems experienced in PNG. There’s a lot of experience and Fijian business have a lot of value to the country.

Allan Lee

PNG Infrastructure Finance Advisor


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