Somare: Garamut Enterprises investment over K200 million

17/08/2012 17:00

East Sepik Regional MP and former PNG prime minister Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare.





Prime Minster the Hon. Peter O’Neill, Mrs O’Neill, Ministers, Member of Parliament, Members of the Business Community, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honour for me to stand here today to cut the ribbon and open another mega, modern shopping outlet at the ever developing and expanding Port Moresby Waterfront.

The Waterfront Food World and its variety of shops is yet another rung on the ladder for the City of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea and the proud people of East and West Sepik. 

It is another great accomplishment for Garamut Enterprises and the Tjeong family who humbly entered Papua New Guinea from Irian Jaya in 1963, as the first boat people to settle in Wewak.

From their early beginnings, of setting up a small shop in Wewak’s Dagua Market to the kind of achievement that the Garamut Enterprises has achieved over almost fifty years shows how the family has embraced East Sepik as their home province and thus reinvested around the country.

In turn, the people of East Sepik have adopted the Tjeong Family who continue to reside in Wewak today. While many of you know Sir James, his other siblings remain part of the tapestry of life in the Sepik.

I am proud to see Garamut continue to support human development in the country through sponsorships in health, education, and other humanitarian causes.

On that note, being the Regional Member for East Sepik since 1968, and also speaking for the former Member for Maprik, Sir Pita Lus, we have always supported business in the province and the country as a whole. But both Sir Pita and I remain mere politicians and not businessmen.

We therefore support without bias any development that contributes to social and economic development of PNG. I am pleased that the Tjeong family have contributed through business in remote areas like Wewak, Vanimo, Aitape, Maprik and Angoram over many years. 

Dueto this support, many of my adversaries have been malicious in falsely spreading the lie that I am part owner of Garamut Enterprises.  It thefore put it on record today that I am not and never have been. As I said, I am a mere politician.

This shopping centre, which cost Garamut Enterprises over K100 million, is obviously a huge investment for the company and will employ more than 800 people.  I am proud that this small company with its roots in my home province has immensely contributed in creating employment opportunities for people of Papua New Guinea with an estimated workforce of 2000 people.

This brings their total investment to more than K200 million in the country. If that is not commitment, I don’t know what is.

I am also keen to see Garamut Enterprises’ next development phase of this Waterfront Project. I understand it will include restaurants, bars, a bistro and other speciality shops. This I believe will definitely add value to Port Moresby Harbour.

On behalf of my people of East Sepik, I congratulate Garamut Enterprises, on your achievement and wish you fifty years and more of prosperity and development in PNG.




  • This speech was given today by Grand Chief Sir Michael T Somare at the commissioning of the Waterfront Food World and Variety Shops in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.