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05 October 2017


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Bearing in mind recent Bougainville history, the capacity of some factions not hesitating to resort to arms and return the island back to a "ground zero" type state, I could not imagine the "Gnomes of Zürich" every risking a dollar on the re-opening of Panguna.

And this could not happen again? I think that there is still an underlying state of anarchy in Bougainville simmering away under the surface.

Apart from local politics there is the "sovereign risk" issue. Sovereign risk is all about forex not taxation and look at the current PNG forex situation, it's a disaster.

Next, as a matter of interest, who is the sovereign in this situation, the PNG national government or a yet to be established independent Bougainville?

Mark Hitchcock opinind that the "one potential pathway is for the ABG and PNG national government to work towards a joint agreement".

Again, bearing in mind past "agreements" how reliable (bankable) would an agreement between the ABG and PNG government be?

I can only imagine another nation (nod, nod, wink, wink) looking to enhance it's geopolitical presence in the area getting involved in the re-opening of Panguna through one of it's state controlled enterprises but even then I'd think that there would be much deep thought about security, risk. They would probably want to keep to the mainland.

I remember years ago when James Strong was asked whether he was worried about Qantas being taken over and his reply was, if you had billions of dollars (I forget the actual number he quoted) would you invest that in an airline?

Similarly, if one had $10 billion, would you invest it in Bougainville in preference to other international opportunities with more manageable governments?

For the record, as you and I know, Bougainville is a beautiful island and the people are good but the financial reality is.....

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