The Nasty Gang delegation to Bougainville – won’t step near Arawa I expect – ‘sea-change’ Mr Momis?:
ABC Radio Online, 17 May 2011
The President of Bougainville John Momis told investors the peace process on Bougainville is well established and the island is open for business.[ABC]
The Chairman of the Rio Tinto-owned Bougainville Copper is to visit Bougainville for the first time since the Panguna copper mine was shut down by a bloody civil war in 1989.
The invitation is part of a strategy by Bougainville’s President John Momis to attract new investment.
Mr Momis told investors attending the Papua New Guinea Australia Business Forum in Madang that the peace process on Bougainville is well established and the island is open for business.
Mr Momis said he would like to attract smart responsible investors who will create jobs and improve life for rural people in the lead up to a referendum on independence from Papua New Guinea.
Ninety per cent of Bougainvilleans live in rural areas and President Momis said it is essential any new investment include them and take into account their culture.
The Chairman of Bougainville Copper will be part of a delegation of business leaders to visit the island on Thursday.
President Momis acknowledged there is still some opposition to the re-opening of the giant Panguna copper mine but he said the majority of Bougainvilleans want the prosperity it would bring.
Mr Momis said the return of Bougainville copper shows there has been a sea-change in attitudes and economic conditions on the island.