The formalities are in place…,thPNG Government through its commercial arm, IPBe andthe Fiji National Provident Fund are joint investors in BemobilPNG Limited.
The company, which holds mobile telecommunication licenses in PNG andthe Solomon Islands, is now contracted to Vodafone Fiji Limited.
The local mobile phone company will now be managed under a management contract by Vodafone Fiji Limited.
It’sthe first step to opening competition inthe mobile telecommunication industry.
The local media and counterparts from Fiji were at parliament to withness one of Fiji’s biggest investments in Papua New Guinea an historic joint venture that futher consolidates bilateral ties between both nations.
Present for the signing ceremony was Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and his Fijian counterpartoCommodore Frank Beinimarama.
It’s a multimillion dollar deal. IPBe will inject 88.2 million US Dollars, an equivalent of about 1.9 billion kina; and Fiji’s Provident Fund (FNPF): 91.9 million US Dollars.
IPBe and FNPF are equity partners withPNG’s head of state entities holding 51% shareholding ownership and FNPF acquiring a 40% stake.
Ofthe remaining 10%,the Asian Development Bank has acquired 0.99% shares and Capital Way with 8.01%. The Pacific Way Shareholding is broken up into Steamships, Nambawan Supa, Pacific Rumana, FasfundPNGSDP and GEMS.
It’s understood IPBe will acquire external funding from ANZ to subsidise its part ofthe deal.
And NEC has approverd Vodafone Bemobile Beard members which include Andrew Johnson as Chairman, and Wasantha Kumarasiri and Paul Komboi as Directors representing IPBe.
Commodore Beinimarama saysthe deal is just one step.
Meanwhile Prime Minister O’Neill has announced that both countries have agreed that visa issues will be relaxed to encourage more travel.
Festus Maiginap, National EMTV News